Macao Jails Suncity Founder 18 Years Over Illegal Gambling

MACAU (AP) — The founder of what was once Macau’s largest casino junket organizer was sentenced to 18 years in prison on Wednesday after being convicted of operating illegal gaming activities, running a criminal organization and numerous other charges. was sentenced.

Alvin Chau, former chairman of Suncity Group, was arrested in November 2021 on a warrant based on accusations of operating an illegal cross-border gambling syndicate with others.

Macau was the only place in China where casinos were legal, and junket operators such as Suncity were an important part of Macau’s gaming industry. They helped facilitate high roller gambling outside the former Portuguese colonies, including by arranging travel services and providing credit.

Macau prosecutors have accused Chau and some co-defendants of running a syndicate that cost the city government about $1 billion in lost tax revenue between 2013 and 2021. Chau faced nearly 290 charges in one of the biggest criminal cases in his gambling hub in years.

In reaching sentencing, the judge concluded that Chau’s attorneys had attempted to prove that Chau did not participate in side-betting activities, but that such manipulation would not have been possible without Chau’s approval. pointed out that

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However, she acquitted Chau of money laundering.

The prosecution asked the court to order Chau to compensate the government financially, and multiple casino operators have filed similar demands to settle their losses.

After Chow’s arrest, the junket division suffered and Suncity closed its VIP room. Last January, Macau police also arrested Levo Chan, the former boss of another major junket his business, on suspicion of running an illegal gambling business.

The casino hub is gaining momentum for a recovery in tourism and casinos after China eased COVID restrictions in recent weeks.

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