December 12, 2023 2 min read


Australia’s ATO Slams Chinese Gambling Mogul with a $35M Bill

Zhou’s Australian gambling empire has evaded millions of Australian dollars in taxes

Tom Zhou, also known as Mr Chinatown, has been slammed with a huge tax bill in Australia. While currently serving a sentence in China, Zhou must be ready to pay millions in evaded taxes upon his release.

As reported by The Herald Sun, Zhou’s Australian gambling empire has evaded millions of Australian dollars in taxes. A major junket partner of Crown Casino Melbourne, Zhou’s dealings in Australia earned him AUD 45.4 million in 2012 and 2013 alone. However, the Australian Tax Office reported that Zhou only declared an income of AUD 14,000 to the authority.

The ATO also added that Zhou’s wife earned more than AUD 62.5 million between 2008 and 2014 but only declared an income of AUD 370,000.

Previously, Zhou told the regulator that his extra income was thanks to loans from two of his China-based companies. However, the ATO eventually determined that this was untrue.

As a result, Zhou must now pay AUD 54 million (roughly $35 million in USD, current rates) in taxes to the Australian government once he gets out of prison.

Mr Chinatown Was Involved in Multiple Illicit Activities, Records Say

Mr Chinatown was arrested in Fiji in 2020 after being on an Interpol red notice arrest warrant for a while. He was accused of money laundering, foreign influence operations, extortion, drug trade and human trafficking. According to reports, Zhou was also involved in the attack of a business competitor with sulfuric acid, leaving the victim permanently scarred.

The man was eventually deported to China and sentenced to an unspecified amount of time in prison. Earlier this year, Australia’s Federal Court froze $30 million in Melbourne-based assets owned by Zhou and his family.

Prior to his arrest, Zhou dealt with Crown Resorts, a major Australian casino operator that was recently found guilty of multiple regulatory failings.

The Crown case uncovered multiple AML violations and shady dealings, forcing the company to implement remediation measures. Crown’s precarious position facilitated its takeover by the US private equity leader Blackstone, which is currently working on refreshing the company in the wake of these investigations.

Some people believe that the crackdown on Crown Resorts and Star Entertainment is what led to the current decline in visitation from affluent Chinese tourists.


Although Fiona doesn't have a long-spanning background within the gambling industry, she is an incredibly skilled journalist who has built a strong interest in the constantly growing iGaming network. The team at is glad to have her on our roster to help deliver the best stories as soon as they hit. Aside from writing, she loves to dabble in online casino games such as slots and roulette, both for her own enjoyment and also as research to better improve her understanding of the industry.

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