10 Years Ago: The Asian Gaming 50

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In this new regular feature in IAG to celebrate 16 years covering the Asian gaming and leisure industry, we look back at our cover story from exactly 10 years ago, the Asian Gaming 50, to rediscover what was making the news in September 2011!

Long before the Asian Gaming Power 50 found its permanent home in our November issue each year, it was the annual cover story in September. This was because we always took the September issue with us when we made our annual trek to Las Vegas each October for G2E.

Back then the Asian Gaming Power 50 was simply known as the Asian Gaming 50 we added the power in 2016 to reflect the key attribute by which we determine our hugely popular annual rankings list of the most influential people in Asian gaming.

So what else has changed over the past decade? Surprisingly little at the pointy end: Galaxy Entertainment Groups Francis Lui topped the list in 2011, just as he has done the past two years, in 2019 and 2020, followed by the late Sheldon Adelson at No.2. The duo would engage in a fascinating battle for top spot over the next 10 years with Adelson enjoying the spoils for six years straight from 2013 to 2018.

Also in the top 10 in 2011 and still there as of 2020 were KT Lim (3), Lawrence Ho (5) and Pansy Ho (10), notably joined at the time by Steve Wynn (4) and Kazuo Okada (7), who have both since fallen from grace.

2011 was also the first time since its launch in 2008 that Dr Stanley Ho had not appeared in the Asian Gaming 50, with injuries sustained from a fall in late 2009 eventually forcing him to step away from day-to-day operations at SJM and STDM. IAG honored Dr Ho instead by naming him as an unofficial Hall of Fame inductee in that September 2011 issue.

Dont forget that the 2021 Asian Gaming Power 50 will be named during the Asian Gaming Power 50 Gala Dinner at Macaus Wynn Palace on Friday 5 November.