Ali Celestino has told Alvin Chao’s trial that Suncity had an IT system that supported record keeping for illegal multiplier bets.
Macau.- Ali Celestino, a former executive at Suncity Group, has told court that the company had an IT system for keeping track of illegal multiplier bets. The testimony comes after Alvin Chau denied having run under-the-table betting for high rollers.
Celestino is one of 20 other defendants charged alongside former Suncity CEO Alvin Chau Cheok Wa on counts of illegal gaming, criminal association, fraud and money laundering. Celestino told prosecutor Lai U Hou at Macau’s Court of First Instance that he had participated in the development of a separate IT system that could record multiplier bets.
He said the project was led by another defendant, Cheong Chi Kin, who Celestino described as a business partner of Chau and a person from the operational department but not employed at Suncity Group. He said that on one occasion Suncity staff had deleted data from the company’s system before a meeting with the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ).
On Tuesday (September 20) Alvin Chau Cheok Wa denied involvement in online gaming. He confirmed that Suncity operated proxy betting services, placing casino bets on behalf of customers who were not at the casino, but said Suncity stopped the service after authorities ordered a ban in 2016.
He told the court that after that Suncity only offered such services in overseas markets, such as the Philippines. The company finally stopped operating proxy betting services through the Philippines in 2019, transferring the operations to a man named Richard Ieong.
According to Chau, the proxy betting business was then named UE. However, two other defendants that were senior Suncity Group managers said the business had still been receiving operational support from Suncity Group.