Macao casino tycoon Chau's hub is shut down: report
Published: Dec 01, 2021 08:23 PM
Suncity Group, the world's largest gambling hub, the founder of which is casino tycoon Alvin Chau Cheok Wa Photo: VCG

Suncity Group, the world's largest gambling hub, the founder of which is casino tycoon Alvin Chau Cheok Wa Photo: VCG

The world's largest gambling hub, the Suncity Group, reportedly closed all of its VIP gaming rooms in Macao on Tuesday, after the company's founder and casino tycoon Alvin Chau Cheok Wa was arrested on illegal gambling charges.

Trading in the shares of Suncity Group on the Hong Kong stock exchange was suspended on Wednesday after a precipitous fall on Tuesday.

Suncity Group said in the early hours of Tuesday that it would close all the VIP lounges except those at the StarWorld Hotel and Galaxy Macau, local media outlet the Macao Daily reported.

Shares in another company in Chau's group, holding company Summit Ascent Holdings, fell a further 9.5 percent on Tuesday after being suspended from trading on Monday.

Chau remains the CEO and effective controller of Suncity Group, of which Summit Ascent Holdings is a non-wholly owned subsidiary, according to media reports.

These developments came after Chinese public security authorities cracked cases related to cross-border gambling involving Chau, who admitted the opening of casinos on the Chinese mainland and facilitating Chinese citizens to gamble overseas.

In the fight against illegal gambling, the police of the Macao Special Administration Region said on Sunday that 11 criminal suspects, including Chau, were arrested and will be transferred to the local prosecutor's office pending further investigation, with several suspects confessing to having set up overseas gambling platforms, among other illegal acts.

China's national public security authorities have been clamping down on cross-border gambling syndicates, which have been recruiting members and engaging in gambling activities.

The authorities have shut down numerous offshore casinos and online gambling platforms since 2020, which has effectively curbed cross-border gambling, the People's Daily reported on Monday.

In addition to gambling, Chau has co-financed and produced several films. 

After Chau's arrest, many netizens suspected that he was using these films to launder money, and blamed producer Bona Film. The producer strongly denied the allegation.

Global Times