Gambling has been a thorn in people’s side for a very long time now. Each country has its own rules about how to handle it, and for China, they’ve banned it on the mainland. There are state-sanctioned lotteries however, and of course, Macau is a gambling hotspot. However, Macau may have just lost its ‘casino junket king’.
The chairman of Hong Kong company, Suncity Group Holdings Ltd, Alvin Chau (周焯华) is known for being Macau’s biggest casino junket operator. Unfortunately, his reign may be at an end. He was recently arrested for allegedly operating a cross-border gambling platform and money laundering.
According to Macau’s judiciary police, they have been investigating the matter since 2019. After two long years of thorough and careful investigation, they finally arrested eleven people involved in the scheme yesterday (28th November). The eleven suspects, two women and nine men, were summarily detained and sent to Coloane Prison.
When interrogated, the group admitted to setting up gambling platforms overseas. However, they refused to cooperate on other matters. Based on the investigation, the group was supposedly using VIP rooms in Macau to establish gambling platforms elsewhere. They also attempted to entice mainland Chinese into partaking in online gambling illegally. Additionally, funds from the operation were laundered to an underground bank via the casino’s VIP accounts.
The police confirmed that a 47-year-old businessman, surnamed Chau had been arrested. They added that Chau was the head of the syndicate and a Hong Kong resident. It is believed that the police were describing the Macau billionaire, Alvin Chau.
An arrest warrant for Alvin had been issued on 26th November by the Wenzhou Public Security Bureau. The Bureau claimed Alvin had illegally opened a casino in China. He was supposedly brought in by the Macau police the next day to assist in the investigation.
Police have stated that the investigation is still ongoing. So far, aside from the arrests, they have also seized several electronic devices and 3 million patacas (RM1.5 million).