The legal proceedings against the former chief executive officer of Suncity Group Alvin Chau, who was accused of illegal gambling, money laundering, criminal association, and fraud along with 20 other individuals, continued on Monday when the prosecution called nine witnesses to testify. All of them worked in the marketing department of Suncity Group.
Suncity Marketing Department Engaged in “Betting under the Table” Practices
The Public Prosecutor’s Office (MP) accused the said department of hiring gamblers to perform so-called “betting under the table” and proxy betting activities. Allegedly, Suncity had an IT system to log large-scale illegal multiplier wagers. In addition, the MP also charged Suncity with having an Operations Department, which was responsible for the “betting under the table” practices.
Ms. Lee, who was one of the witnesses, stated that she had heard about the existence of these illegal “betting under the table” activities and knew from some of her colleagues that the gamblers in question were connected to the Operations Department.
She added that Cheong Chi Kin, a former Suncity shareholder and agent, might have been in charge of the wrongdoings in question and stated that the individuals who had worked in the VIP room and had conducted the “betting under the table” activities, did not wear any clothes of Suncity. They maintained communication only with one of the Suncity departments.
Mr. Ho, another witness in the case, commented that patrons who wanted to engage in proxy or telephone wagering would receive a phone number to call in Manila. Reportedly, the proxy betting was performed through an online company by the name of Universal e-City, whose owner is allegedly Suncity.
Alvin Chau Pleaded Not Guilty
In September 2022 Alvin Chau plead not guilty to all charges against him. The prosecution then used phone records and asked Chau if he had been responsible for a number of gambling companies, and if he had been aware of these “betting under the table” practices. Chau denied having been involved in such activities, including transactions and interests and added that these phone calls showed only existing credit problems between the customer and the company.
Per the prosecution’s charges, by having been involved in “under the table” multiplier bets, Suncity defrauded Macau’s government of approximately HKD8.26 billion ($1.05 billion) in tax revenue from 2013 to 2021.
Suncity, Macau’s junket giant, was responsible for an estimated 25% of VIP market revenue in the biggest gambling hub. However, in November 2021, its junket division was dissolved following the arrest of Chau.