Suncity Group Holdings, which operates the world’s largest gambling hub in Macau, has closed its VIP gaming rooms in the territory after its CEO Alvin Chau was arrested, charged with accusations of money laundering and illegal cross-border gambling.
Reuters reported that on Wednesday, Dec. 1, Suncity announced that its CEO had resigned from all his positions in the group.
Chau, the founder of Macau’s biggest junket operator, was arrested on Sunday over alleged links to cross-border gambling and money laundering.
Two days earlier, Wenzhou city in mainland China issued a warrant for his arrest. Chau is accused of forming a junket agent network that helps Chinese citizens engage in gambling activities and setting up a company that helps gamblers make cross-border fund transfers.
Along with Chau, 10 others were also accused of using Macau as a base for an illegal “live web betting platform” in the Philippines that attracted mainland Chinese gamblers.
The arrests mark the first time the Chinese gaming business has been targeted and prove authorities’ new zero-tolerance approach to the promotion of gambling in mainland China, where it is illegal, and are seeking to curb Chinese gambling-related funds into Macau and other gaming hubs.
According to Reuters, a senior casino executive said that Suncity would have to cut around a third of its Macau headcount with the closure of all the VIP rooms.