35 plead guilty in Suncity junket cases

The former CEO of Suncity was arrested on cross-border gambling accusations in November 2021.
The former CEO of Suncity was arrested on cross-border gambling accusations in November 2021.

The defendants have pleaded guilty to helping well-off Chinese customers travel overseas on VIP junkets.

China.- It’s been reported that 35 people have pleaded guilty at an intermediate court in Wenzhou, Zhejiang province, in cases related to the junket operations of Suncity. Alvin Chau Cheok Wa, the former CEO of Suncity Group Holdings, has still to be tried. He had been indicted on charges of money laundering and founding and leading a criminal group.

The court said the syndicate had more than 60,000 agents serving more than 60,000 mainland Chinese players. According to Macau Business, the syndicate paid agents high commissions to arrange cross-border gambling trips for wealthy Chinese customers.

The Court also heard that the group provided cross-border currency exchange and settlement services to mainland participants through asset management companies set up by mainland syndicates and underground banks.

A separate trial in Macau, scheduled to begin on September 2, could result in over 200 charges of illegal gambling, criminal syndicate, fraud, and money laundering against Chau and 20 other defendants. 

Chau Cheok Wa resigned as CEO of Suncity Group Holdings a day after his arrest. At the time, the company said in a statement: “In the event that the group loses the support of Mr Chau for whatever reason, the financial position, business and operation of the group will be adversely affected.”

A week ago, Levo Chan Weng Lin, the former CEO of Macau Legend and chairman of Tak Chun Group, was formally charged by Macau’s Public Prosecution Office following his arrest in January. The former chairman of Tak Chun Group, the second-largest junket operator in Macau, was also arrested for allegedly engaging in illegal gambling activities, running a crime syndicate and money laundering.

Chan has been charged with other eight people. However, he is the only one of the nine to have been detained in prison. According to local media, Chan could face a maximum possible sentence of 20 years in prison.

Macau VIP gaming promoter bill likely to be passed by mid-November

Committee chairman Chan Chak Mo has said that a newly-proposed article was discussed during meetings about Macau’s new junket businesses and satellite casinos bill. It states that casino franchisees will still be allowed to provide players with an account to hold cash, chips or other payment methods for gambling purposes but will be prohibited from providing monetary interest on the accounts.

Chak Mo said the bill is likely to be passed at a Legislative Assembly plenary session in October or mid-November after a second and final reading. Once passed, the provisions of the bill will take effect during the next round of gaming concessions, which is scheduled to begin in January.

The bill aims to improve oversight of the industry. It would allow junket operators to each work with only one casino operator. Individuals will no longer be licensed as intermediaries; only companies incorporated in Macau. 

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