Macau's Junket King Alvin Chau to Spend 18 Years in Prison



Benard Maumo

Macau's gambling "kingpin" has been facing many tribulations lately and is only worsening. The 48-year-old was recently sentenced to 48 years-imprisonment after being accused of over 200 charges, including money laundering, fraud, and running a criminal syndicate. 

Macau's Junket King Alvin Chau to Spend 18 Years in Prison

Chau, one of the most famous figures in the world's gambling centre, was convicted in a lawsuit centered around illegal bets worth more than $105 billion. As expected, the flamboyant figure in Macau's local gambling scene denied any wrongdoing.

Macau, a former colony of Portugal, is the only city in China where playing casino games is legal. However, online gambling is still unregulated, with numerous online casino sites accepting players from this region. In this city, junkets act as "middlemen" between high-roller players from the mainland. The junkets also extend credit and collect debts for casino operators. 

Chau is the former Chairman of Suncity Group, and he pioneered the junket industry in Macau. After his arrest by the city's police in November 2021, Chau stepped down as the group's chairman in December. 

Before his arrest, Wenzhou had issued an arrest warrant against Chau, accusing him of facilitating illegal gambling activities in Mainland China. 

The Government Lost Over $67 Billion in Revenues

During the hearing, prosecutors accused the "junket king" of leading a criminal syndicate for facilitating undeclared debts. As a result, the prosecutors claim that the government lost over $67 billion in revenues. 

Sadly for Chau, Judge Lou Ieng Ha found him guilty of most charges, although evidence was lacking to convict him of money laundering. His defense acknowledged the existence of under-the-table betting in the former Portuguese colony. However, they said there was no evidence to implicate Chau or the employees of Suncity. 

This high-profile case also included 20 other defendants. His family members, including his son, were present during the trial, which began in September. Also, lawyers from popular casino operators in Macau were present. Those include brands like MGM China (2282.HK), Wynn Macau (1128.HK), and Sands China (1928.HK). 

Tak Chun's Levo Chan, Chau's second in command, was also arrested in January 2022. He was accused of leading a criminal organization, money laundering, and facilitating illegal gambling. Chau and Chan have been in prison since their arrest.

Best gambling quote: “Successful gamblers always have two things on their lips: Silence and a smile”

Favorite Casino Game: Blackjack

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