The saga involving Alvin Chau and Suncity Group, the company that he turned into the largest junket operator in the world, is only getting started. As investigations continue in China and Macau, and possibly elsewhere, there’s no telling how deep the impact will be. For its part, Suncity denies all of the allegations, although convincing a Chinese court of its innocence will prove difficult.
Chau Under Fire in China, Macau
Chau, a Macau-born native who built his fortune as a founder and operator of Suncity Group, was taken into custody over the weekend in the city. His detention came hours after the Wenzhou Government in mainland China issued a warrant for Chau to be arrested on several charges of illegal gambling.
The Judicial Police in Macau confirmed on Monday that Chau was held by them because they were investigating Suncity and Chau’s activities. Officials in Macau claimed that Chau’s arrest was linked to the Judicial Police’s own collection of intelligence and the exchange of data with law enforcement organizations worldwide.
Chau is not the only suspect. The Judicial Police also stated that 10 other individuals who are alleged to be Suncity employees were detained and taken into police custody at their downtown headquarters.
The Net Widens
Prosecutors allege that Alvin Chau (and Suncity) engaged in illegal gambling activity throughout the mainland. The main charge is for the illegal organization of gambling trips and facilitation or online betting.
Macau initially stated that it had arrested Chau after learning that Chau was wanted by mainland officials. But Macau changed its story today and claimed that it was also investigating Chau and Suncity just before the Wenzhou announcement.
A criminal group allegedly led in part by Chau used the VIP gambling business in Macau to create a gambling platform overseas and regularly solicited Chinese citizens for illegal gambling activity.
Suncity Issues Response
Suncity Group recently denied the existence of online casino sites. Instead, the company claims that it is using online gambling to attract rogue offshore businesses.
Chau admitted in 2020 that online gaming is something that all Macau-licensed companies and individuals must avoid. He stated at the time, “The central government has stated it is committed to cracking down on online gambling, fraud, and illegal financing with the purpose of preventing the illicit outflow of capital, and I agree that the Macau SAR government and the gaming industry should fully cooperate.”