October 23, 2023 3 min read


Macau Court Confirms Ex-Junket King Chau Prison Sentence

The Court of Second Instance in Macau has confirmed an 18-year sentence for former casino junket Suncity Group Ltd. CEO and founder, Alvin Chau

In January, the 49-year-old founder and chief executive officer of casino junket Suncity Group Ltd., Alvin Chau, was indicted for fraud, criminal association, money laundering, and illegal gaming. Some 20 other people were indicted for the same crimes. 

While the former CEO was not convicted of money laundering at the Court of First Instance, he was sentenced to a total of 18 years in prison in aggregate. He was acquitted of fraud charges along with a few other defendants, thus getting rid of the obligation to pay HKD8.67 billion ($1.08 billion) to the Macau government as well as several casino operators in the city.

Now, according to a ruling from the Court of Second Instance issued at the end of last week, the sentences for nine defendants have been maintained in relation to proxy betting, illicit gambling, under-the-table betting, and criminal association. Mr Chau’s prison sentence has also been confirmed. 

Aggravated Money Laundering Charges

The former Junket King, along with Suncity Group’s head of finance department, Philip Wong Pak Ling, were convicted on charges of aggravated money laundering. The two, together with seven other defendants, were told they would need to pay a compensation of close to HKD25.51 billion ($3.25 billion) to the Macau government for gains drawn from illegal forms of gambling as well as from the profits they generated through money laundering activities.

According to the most recent court ruling, the group ruled by Mr Chau obtained little over HKD17.66 billion ($2.25 billion) in illicit gains from “under the table” betting, and around HKD7.21 billion ($921 million) from proxy betting. Together with Mr Wong and Cheung Ling Ling, the founder of the group allegedly obtained profits of nearly HKD617.0 million ($78 million) and CNY17.0 million (US$2.3 million) in profits using money laundering.

In January, Ms Cheung was acquitted by the lower court. Now, the Court of Second Instance sentenced her to five years in prison for her role of co-conspirator in relation to the said charges of money laundering. Ms Cheung, who was controlling Suncity Group’s assets, had also received a prison sentence in Wenzhou, mainland China, in a process connected to allegations regarding the same group. 

In September 2022, Wenzhou People’s Intermediate Court fined Ms Cheung CNY800,000 ($112,700) and sentenced her to spend seven years in jail for illegal business operations and the “establishing casino” crime. At the time, Ms Cheung accepted the sentence and said she would not ask for an appeal.

Finally, the sentences of four of the defendants were cut from 15 to 12-and-a-half years, according to last week’s ruling. The defendants are still allowed to appeal to Macau’s Court of Final Appeal.

After finishing her master's in publishing and writing, Melanie began her career as an online editor for a large gaming blog and has now transitioned over towards the iGaming industry. She helps to ensure that our news pieces are written to the highest standard possible under the guidance of senior management.

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