Alvin Chau, the 47 -year -old billionaire and boss of the SUNCITY company, is in turmoil. On Saturday, November 27, 2021, the latter was apprehended and then placed in detention by the Macao police following a complaint emanating from the prosecution of the city of Wenzhou, China. The businessman is suspected of money laundering, fraud, creation of online illegal game platforms, links with organized crime ... The list of charges is long. This affair, involving many economic players and great powers of the international scene, could seal the fate of businesses like Suncity or Tak Chun. But let's first try to understand the workings of an extremely lucrative system a little better that has illegally generated billions of dollars for more than a decade, thanks to gambling.
Players, VIP operator and casinos-junket
Chinese legislation strictly prohibits money games on continental soil. The players therefore go in number to Macao to play fortunes and take advantage of the atmosphere of Gambling Mecca. On site, we can distinguish Casinos regulated, that is to say those who have a license of activity duly issued by the local authorities, allowing them to exercise their activity legally on the territory.
But the explosion of the game market in Asia has experienced such growth, new structures called casinos-junkets appeared en masse to satisfy an ever greater number of players from mainland China. We can consider them as independent game farms within already existing casinos.
The first actors are companies like Suncity which, through operators, organize private parts in VIP rooms of large casinos. And of course, like the city, all the arrangements are taken to satisfy players: accommodation with free gastronomic banquets, bottles of champagne and 5 -star transport are on the menu. The operators go as far as changing the space game tables even according to everyone's superstitions. Here more than elsewhere, the customer is king and he can spend sums much higher than those authorized in traditional casinos.
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Casinos Junket and their touts
Once the decor is planted, the junkets come into play. They are touts in charge of recruiting a maximum of rich customers in the crowded streets and tourist spots. They have a very good network of connections and some sources say they would be even part of the triads, a criminal organization widely used in the city. These kinds of versatile hands can also change currencies and also make credits. Chinese justice does not allow any individual to leave the territory with more than 20,000 RMB in cash, all gamblers have naturally led to this type of services.
The problem is that this system benefits VIP operators much more than casinos authorizing these activities. Indeed, he can organize the number of evenings he wishes in a casino as long as he pays a percentage of his earnings to the establishment. But the scheme of the distribution of gains is already unbalanced: out of $ 10,000 won in a Casino Junket, 4,000 are donated to the state, 4,000 are for VIP operators and only 2000 for the hosting. And it is estimated that the profits generated by these organizations represent around 65% of Macao's income.
This clandestine economy which has lasted years for the benefit in particular of SUCUNY RISK can be, in the coming weeks, to know his latest moments.
Casinos-junkets, targets of American justice and the union of casinos workers
Following the arrests of Chan Wen-Ling and Alvin Chau, the companies of operators Junket no longer have the coast in Macao. Chinese President Xi Jinping also declared war on fraud and money laundering, which put pressure on all the great casinos in Asia.
On the other side of the globe, in Los Angeles, The Syndicat des Casinos '' International Union of Operating Engineers '', better known as local 501, asks the American Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, to launch a federal investigation into the activities and relations that the SUCITY operator had with large American game companies like MGM or Ceasar's Entertainment. In addition, the workers' association even proposed to the US state to regulate the flow of the Junket parties in the American casinos based abroad.
The future of Alvin Chau's company seems uncertain and the negative impacts of these recent surveys in the world of illegal game in Macao could end the prosperous period of casinos-junkets.