Macau’s gaming regulator confirmed on Wednesday evening the closure of all VIP gaming rooms of junket operator Suncity Group in the city. The suspension came after Alvin Chau Cheok Wa, boss of the junket brand, was detained on Saturday on suspicion of organising illegal gambling for Chinese customers, including online gambling via the Philippines.
The city’s casino regulator – the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, a body also known as DICJ – said in a statement it had been informed on Tuesday by the city’s casino concessionaires of the suspension of their cooperation with junket operator Suncity Group, “temporarily suspending the operation” of the latter’s VIP rooms in the concessionaires’ respective Macau casinos from Wednesday (December 1).
A senior executive at MGM Resorts International, majority owner of Macau casino operator MGM China Holdings Ltd, separately confirmed the firm had suspended its collaboration with Suncity Group at the former’s two casino properties in Macau, namely MGM Macau and MGM Cotai.
The release by Macau’s gaming regulator did not mention the total number of VIP rooms in Macau that had ceased operations, and what would happen to the staff at those venues.
The regulator also said it would not comment on the case concerning Mr Chau, involving suspicions of gambling-related crimes, as the case was currently under investigation by the local authorities.
The body added that “all casino operators and junket operators must carry out their activities in strict compliance with the law.”
Macau’s Labour Affairs Bureau separately told to GGRAsia it was “concerned” about the Suncity Group incident. The bureau said it had already contacted the firm requesting information regarding the impact on the latter’s workforce.
The bureau said that, as of Wednesday morning, it had received 11 enquiries regarding labour issues related to Suncity Group. It added that, as of that moment, it had yet to receive any formal labour complaint related to Suncity Group.
The overall impact of Suncity Group’s downfall on employment in Macau in unclear. Besides its involvement in gaming operations, the overall group also is engaged in a number of other local industries, from travel business to restaurants.
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Analysts at JP Morgan Securities