Chau’s defence claims there is no evidence that the junket boss received money from proxy betting companies.
Macau.- Alvin Chau Cheok Wa‘s attorney Leong Hon Man has delivered his closing statement in the trial against the former Suncity Group boss and other. He says there is no evidence that Alvin Chau received money from proxy betting and that charges against him lacked thorough investigation.
Leong Hon Man said side betting allegations were based on two documents seized from Suncity servers that allegedly documented more than 40,000 under-the-table bets at over 229 places in Macau.
He said: “The Judiciary Police had not investigated whether these bets actually took place and the identity of the gamblers mentioned. Out of these 229 places, only 21 places were Suncity VIP rooms.”
He added: “There is no concrete evidence about Chau Cheok Wa being a shareholder [in the side betting operations], the cash flows of these activities and Chau’s illicit gains in these activities.”
The lawyer said that Macau’s gaming industry was so large that “it is inevitable that there will be grey areas”. He noted that Suncity had earned between HK$14bn and HK$20bn in annual commissions from Macau’s six gaming operators, and that Suncity’s ongoing revenue “even exceeded the volume of gaming operators.”
He added that the junket operator had contributed more than MOP300bn in gaming tax revenue to the Macau government.
According to the prosecution, Chau operated an under-the-table betting business between March 2013 and March 2021 that cost the Macau SAR government HK$8.2bn (US$1bn) in gaming tax revenues, as well as gaming operator losses. The former junket operator denies the charges. Presiding judge Lou Ieng Ha is expected to announce a verdict in the coming weeks.
Five casino operators to seek compensation
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 is 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.
João Nuno Riquito, who represents MGM, said “gaming operators are victims of fraud and subject to tremendous loss.”
Leong, Chau’s lawyer, denied claims that any under-the-table bets affected operators.