According to information provided by the Judiciary Police in Macau, proxy betting accounted for massive illegal profits to the local junket operator Suncity Group and its founder and former chief executive officer Alvin Chau.
Recent media reports revealed that during the court hearing of the case against Mr. Chau and 20 other defendants that took place on November 9th, an investigator from the special administrative region’s Judiciary Police made a PowerPoint presentation over the extensive evidence showing that the junket operator was involved in side-betting activities that are currently illegal under the local gambling laws. The presentation lasted for more than two hours.
According to Macau police reports, Suncity Group facilitated over 62,000 proxy bets worth a total of $102.6 billion, with the wagers being placed in the seven-year period between 2013 and Alvin Chau’s arrest in 2021. Reportedly, these bets were carried out across a variety of so-called VIP rooms at different Macau casinos, and a number of Suncity Group’s departments were involved in the unlawful proxy betting activities.
The Judiciary Police official provided evidence, including tapped phone calls and text messages, such as group messages of Suncity Group workers, internal corporate documents, financial statements, etc.
Furthermore, it was reported that special instruction manuals for the junket operator’s employees working on handling side bets in the cage department and marketing department have been confiscated by the SAR’s Judiciary Police. This means that the number of Suncity Group’s employees who have been actively engaged in the proxy betting scheme is much bigger than initially thought and involves individuals from the operator’s top management to frontline staff members.
Suncity Group’s Illegal Betting Operations Cost Macau’s Coffers Tax Revenue of about $1 Billion, Investigators Claim
According to the Government of the special administrative region of Macau, the illegal betting operations that Suncity Group has been running under the table, have cost local coffers tax revenue of approximately $1 billion for the entire seven-year period between 2013 and 2021.
These claims have also been included in the aforementioned PowerPoint presentation made by Macau’s Judiciary Police official several days ago. The investigator presented detailed claims on how the calculation of tax revenue losses was made. It was also noted that the SAR police forces found two document files, which included information on some side bets that had been facilitated by the junket operator from 2013 to 2021.
The files include a total of 97 side-betting activities, which in their turn involve more than 62,580 proxy bets with an estimated turnover of $102.4 billion. According to estimates, these bets brought about $2.6 billion to Mr. Chau and his syndicate.
The lawyer of Alvin Chau, however, argued that the aforementioned data does not correspond to the information in the tapped messages and phone calls that were exchanged between his client and some of the other defendants in the case.
On the other hand, the testimony of the Judiciary Police official triggered further arguments between the defendants’ lawyers and the prosecutor. The lawyers claim that the investigator should have been questioned in a way similar to the one experienced by other witnesses. They further believe that the JP representative should not have been permitted to make the aforementioned PowerPoint presentation to present any evidence.
The case against Mr. Chau and the rest of the defendants in the case is getting closer to its end. The final arguments in the case are scheduled for November 21st.