The charges against Alvin Chau Cheok Wa include founding and leading a criminal organisation, crimes punishable by a minimum of eight years in prison.
Macau.- Alvin Chau Cheok Wa’s trial starts today (September 2). The gaming billionaire has been indicted for allegedly founding and leading a criminal group and for money laundering. He was arrested in November 2021 together with 11 others.
A copy of the indictment reviewed by GGRAsia alleges that the defendants ran a criminal syndicate that cheated the Macau government out of HKD8.26bn (US$1.05bn) in tax revenue. Some 92 witnesses have been asked to testify. Chau Cheok Wa could face between eight and 15 years in prison for the alleged crimes.
The former CEO of Suncity Group (now LET Group Holdings Ltd) is also charged with illegal gambling. The charges include providing illegal gambling at licenced gaming establishments and making illegal online and proxy bets.
The indictment alleges that Chau Cheok Was group had been operating under-the-table betting for high rollers for years, which some commentators and government officials called a “multiplier.”
With multipliers, the bet denominated at the casino gaming table represented a private wager that would be a multiple of the “official” wager, thereby avoiding some wagers paying the effective tax rate of 39 per cent of Macau casinos’ gross gaming revenue.
The indictment alleges that from March 2013 to March last year, the group placed multiplier bets worth HK$823.8bn and illegally won “at least” HK$21.5bn.
A number of the city’s casino operators are among the plaintiffs, claiming millions of dollars from Suncity Group as the multiplier scheme meant that Macau’s six licensed gaming operators lost out on as much as HK$2.28bn in gaming revenue, according to calculations by the city’s casino regulator.