Chip off the Old Block

Kin Cheung / AP

Big Draw: The Crown Macau on opening night

Business in Asia is played very much like ice hockey. The big guys — state-backed behemoths, massive conglomerates and supertycoons — almost always pin smaller enterprises against the glass to score the plum deal. So it seemed for Lawrence Ho, CEO of NASDAQ-listed casino operator Melco Crown Entertainment. Less than a year ago, the giants of the gaming industry — Vegas legends Steve Wynn and Sheldon Adelson, chairman of Las Vegas Sands — had shoved the little-known Ho to the edge of Asia's casino market. But his rivals should have taken note of how Ho, a recreational hockey player,...

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