Suncity Group’s founder, Alvin Chau Cheok Wa, and 20 other people were indicted for illegal gaming, criminal association, fraud, and money laundering.
Macau.- The Macau Court of First Instance, chaired by Judge Lou Ieng Ha, sentenced Alvin Chau Cheok Wa, the former CEO of Suncity (now LET Group Holdings Ltd), to 18 years in prison.
Chau, together with other 20 people, was indicted for allegedly leading a criminal group, providing illegal gambling at licenced establishments and making illegal online and proxy bets.
According to the judge, the charges with which he was accused were proven during the trial. However, he was not convicted of money laundering.
Now, the defendants have 20 days to appeal the sentence before the Court of Second Instance.
The judge said Chau Cheok Wa had for years been involved in under-the-table betting for high rollers for years. She also said that Suncity Group was also linked to such illegal activities.
The judge also acknowledged in her comments that the under-table-bet operations conducted by Chau and some of the other defendants constituted fraud against the Macau government and the city’s six casino operators, disrupting the proper process of taxation, and affecting the ability of the operators to obtain profit from their clients.
The legal counsels of the local units of Wynn Macau Ltd, MGM China Holdings, SJM Holdings Ltd, Sands China Ltd and Galaxy Entertainment Group have asked the court to award them damages due to lost earnings as a result of Chau’s alleged operations.
Wynn Macau Ltd was seeking damages of MOP795.2m from Chau and six other defendants in the case. Sands China seeks HKD300.7m and SJM Holdings HK$17.2m. MGM China has asked the court to decide the amount. There was no information in regard to a claim by Galaxy Entertainment.
Alvin Chau Cheok Wa‘s attorney Leong Hon Man had denied claims that any under-the-table bets affected operators.
The court also ordered Chau and five of the convicted defendants to pay over HKD8.67bn in compensation to the Macau government and a number of casino operators.