Macau police closed all of Suncity's junket rooms, amidst CEO arrest

Macau police closed all of Suncity’s junket rooms, amidst CEO arrest

The VIP gaming rooms in Macau owned by the Suncity group, the largest high roller junket, were closed on Tuesday, Chinese-language Radio Macau reported

The rooms of Suncity, which is present in more than 40% of the territory’s casinos, closed at 00:00 (16:00 Tuesday in Lisbon).

A spokesman for Galaxy Entertainment Group to ldLusa that Suncity gaming rooms in the group’s ‘resorts’ closed at that time. Lusa tried unsuccessfully to contact Suncity, whose website is also currently offline.

On Monday, the chief executive of the Suncity group Alvin Chau was placed under preventive detention in a case of illegal gambling and money laundering, the Macau Public Prosecutor’s Office (MP) announced.

The Public Prosecutor’s Office, following a preliminary investigation, found that there was sufficient evidence of the crimes of participating in a criminal association, punishable by a prison sentence of up to ten years, of leading a criminal association, up to 12 years in prison, of money laundering (up to eight years in prison) and illegal gambling (up to three years).   

The decision was made following the questioning of 11 defendants, who were arrested on Saturday, and given “the seriousness of the nature of the said crimes, namely their enormous impact and damage caused to the lawful operation of the Macau gambling sector and the stability of the financial order” of the territory, the MP said in a statement.

In 2019, during an investigation, the Macau Judicial Police detected a criminal group taking advantage of VIP room operations to create networks of gaming platforms to attract residents from within China for illicit online gambling.

On Friday, the Wenzhou city prosecutor’s office in eastern China asked Alvin Chau to turn himself in to authorities and cooperate with the investigation.

Chau created a network of staff inside China to arrange visits to overseas gambling halls and participate in cross-border ‘online’ gambling activities, according to a statement from the Chinese authorities.

The Macau resident is accused of establishing an asset management company in mainland China to facilitate the exchange of assets for gambling chips to circumvent the restricted capital outflow control on the mainland and facilitate the collection of debts incurred by clients.

The same source gathered that Chau set up an online gambling platform in the Philippines and elsewhere in 2016 to facilitate cross-border gambling.

Wenzhou police also ascertained the use of illegal channels, such as clandestine banks, in providing fund settlement services to gamblers.

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