MACAO -- When Stanley Ho, the entrepreneur who turned Macao's gambling industry into the world's biggest, was still early in his career, he had to be ingenious. In the 1960s, it was not easy to finance investments in gaming and building casino-hotels, so he converted a Hong Kong floating restaurant into a floating casino permanently moored in Macao's busiest area, the Inner Harbor, in 1962.
His flagship Casino Lisboa opened in 1970 and was acclaimed as a must-see attraction. It was Asia's first icon of casino architecture, with a rooftop designed as a roulette wheel and an entrance resembling a bat. The Lisboa was Macao's first integrated resort, offering comprehensive amenities and entertainment, and was the key to the transformation of Macao into a tourism center and a modern city.