Alvin Chau’s trial has been postponed after more than half of the defendants failed to turn up on September 2.
Half of the Defendants Didn’t Show Up
Alvin Chau is the ex-chair of the notorious Suncity Group, a Chinese junket operator that was allegedly involved in numerous illegal gambling activities. Because of his involvement with Suncity, Chau was arrested in December last year. The man has over 200 legal charges for running unlicensed gaming and participating in organized crime. He allegedly took part in other fraudulent activities such as money laundering.
Needless to say, Chau’s trial is something of key importance for the future of the Macau gaming industry. However, it has been postponed as over half of Chau’s associates failed to appear at the trial. For reference, a total of 21 people have been accused of running fraudulent gaming operations. However, only 10 of them showed up on September 2, forcing the court to reschedule the trial for September 19.
Suncity Was a Leading Junket Operator
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Suncity used to be one of the powerhouses in Macau. The junket singlehandedly generated over a quarter of the special administrative region’s total gross gaming revenues and was the leading gambling company around.
In December 2021, Macau’s law enforcers arrested Chau after the latter was accused of participating in organized crime and offering illegal gaming in Mainland China. His arrest spelled the doom of Macau’s junket industry and led to the shutdown of all of Suncity’s VIP gaming rooms.
Later estimates put Suncity’s illegal gaming handle at a whopping $105 billion. Several reports claim that the junket also scammed casino operators by sharing doctored data about the handle, effectively undermining operators’ revenues and by extension – taxes.
The whole Suncity saga has caused many Chinese to distrust Macau’s gaming industry, which has further damaged the region’s already struggling GGR.
Suncity’s Downfall Affected Star Australia
Suncity was also the cause of the inquiry into Star Entertainment’s business. The Australian operator had close ties with the Chinese junket and even allowed it to operate an unlicensed gambling cage on the premises of its Sydney casino.
An investigation uncovered many shortcomings in Star’s AML protocols and the company almost lost its license to operate in New South Wales. The inquiry found out that Star’s higher-ups were negligent of what was happening on the premises of their casino and even allowed dangerous Chinese intelligence officers to frequent the cage.