Lawrence Ng (吳啟華) openly admitted that he came from a family of gamblers. Influenced by his late grandmother, who died of a heart attack in the middle of a gambling session, both Lawrence and his brother Ng Kai Ming (吳啟明) have been gambling since they were children.
After divorcing his second wife of seven years Shi Yangzi (石 洋子) last year, 50-year-old Lawrence is at a new low point in his life. With two failed marriages and separated from his daughter, Lawrence has been gambling his sorrows away in Macau, allegedly becoming a worse gambling addict than before.
Earlier, the paparazzi spotted Lawrence leaving his home in Kowloon Tong to the Shun Tak Heliport, where he took a ferry to Macau. After arriving, Lawrence met up with Michael Miu (苗僑偉), Jaime Chik (戚 美珍), and two other female friends for lunch. While Jaime rested at her hotel room, Lawrence took Michael to a casino in Wynn Macau. The pair first stopped by a craps table, and then moved on to the baccarat table.
Though recognized by many patrons, Lawrence appeared unfazed and continued to gamble freely. Michael began to show signs of boredom quickly, and left the casino approximately an hour later. Lawrence then moved on to another casino at MGM Macau and started playing baccarat again. Originally on a winning streak, Lawrence began to lose after raising his bet and lost a large number of thousand-dollar chips. Frustrated and upset, Lawrence tossed his cards onto the table.
Lawrence reportedly returned to Hong Kong the next day and immediately booked a room to play mahjong at a restaurant. He did not leave the restaurant until after midnight.
A source close to Lawrence said that he had cut down on his gambling since the birth of his daughter six years ago. However, after his divorce with Shi Yangzi last year, his gambling habit returned and he began to visit Macau more frequently. Lawrence usually visit the casinos by himself and placed big bets.
Lawrence Denies Gambling Addiction
In a later interview, Lawrence dismissed the rumors, clarifying that gambling is only for entertainment. He said, “When I go to the United States, I would sometimes visit the casinos in Las Vegas. I usually place around $30,000 HKD per bet. Winning or losing isn’t a big deal, as I don’t play really big.”
When he was younger, Lawrence confessed he once lost his entire fortune while gambling in Macau and did not have enough money to buy a ticket ferry back to Hong Kong. “I vowed to never gamble my assets away. Now, I’m only gambling for entertainment purposes.” Lawrence said he is not afraid that his gambling would affect his image. “It is my choice and I have to stand up to it. I’m thankful for having that experience when I was younger. I’ve learned.”