Macau gambling official denies money laundering and illegal gambling

Alvin Chau, a prominent figure in the Macau gambling scene, denied several charges related to illegal gambling in court on Monday. [Image:]

Charges against Alvin Chau

Alvin Chau, a well-known gambling executive in Macau, denied charges of illegal gambling, money laundering and running a criminal syndicate during his trial on Monday.

arrested on warrant charging him with illegal gambling on the Chinese mainland

Chau served as president of Macau’s Suncity Junket, which helps organize activities for China’s big players. In December 2021, a month after he was arrested on a warrant accusing him of illegal gambling on the Chinese mainland, he was removed from his post.

Macau is the only Chinese region where casino games are allowed.

Crossing to Mainland China

Chau told the Chinese court on Monday that he was not involved in any illegal gambling activities and was not involved in money laundering, according to state broadcaster TDM.

Questions have also been raised about his interests in the Philippines, although he said his business was regulated by local authorities.

Chau’s line of business includes providing lines of credit to players before collecting debt under the authority of casinos. As with casino games, soliciting credit is also illegal in mainland China.

Chau maintained that no one in his group offered credit outside of Macau.

generated 25% of gaming revenue in 2019 in Macau

The Suncity junket was one of the most successful in Macau before the coronavirus pandemic. According to industry executives, it generated 25% of gaming revenue in 2019 in Macau, which totaled $36 billion. The junket industry collapsed following Chau’s arrest

Shortly after Chau’s arrest, all VIP rooms in Suncity were shut down. Other competitors collapsed soon after, with travel restrictions, COVID protocols and overall negative stigma hampering the market.

Problems in and around Macau

Chau’s isn’t the only Macau junket to face legal issues. In January, second-placed industry leader Levo Chan was arrested on suspicion of criminal organization, money laundering and illegal gambling. He and Chau are both in a prison in Macau.

The southern region of China is well known for its luxurious entertainment offerings, specifically related to gambling. Recently, a Malaysian billionaire named Lim Kok Thay applied for a gambling license in the region, bringing the number to seven applicants in total.

There are only six licenses available.

the Southeast Asian market still has a long way to go to restore its image

Regardless of the wealthy suitors, the Southeast Asian market still has a long way to go to restore its image. In the Philippines, a battle between state authorities and a Japanese mogul led to an attempted coup in the notorious resort town of Okada Manila.

Over the weekend, 60 Vietnamese citizens escaped from a Cambodian casino. The event marked the second time this month that a group of Vietnamese fled from a Cambodian casino.

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