Several major Macau junket brands besides Suncity Group have been mentioned in investigations since 2020 by public prosecutors in mainland China, according to documents seen by GGRAsia. In a number of cases, individuals named were said to be agents that facilitated the trips of gamblers from the mainland not only to Macau and to branded junket rooms in the city, but also to overseas casino destinations.
“Tak Chun”, “Guangdong Club” and “Meg Star” were mentioned in a number of indictments by mainland authorities since last year. Cases involving major Macau junket brands were handled by district procuratorates from a number of provinces, including Jiangsu province, Zhejiang province, Fujian province, Henan province and Guangdong province, on various dates in either 2020 or 2021.
Some of the indictments referred to agents assisting Chinese players to take part in “proxy betting” overseas. That is according to documentation lodged with China’s national prosecuting agency, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate.
Most of the indictments were against mainland residents. Macau is the only place in China where casino gambling is legal.
At least five indictments seen by GGRAsia involved suspects taking mainland China residents to gamble in Macau. Two of these indictments were lodged by district procuratorates in Jiangsu province; one was by a district procuratorate in Guangdong province; one in Zhejiang province; and the other in Fujian province.
Participation in, and facilitation of, online gambling for mainland China customers has been classified as a criminal activity by the Chinese government for some years. With effect from March this year, helping mainland residents to take part in “cross-border gambling” – whether in person or online – has been defined as a crime under mainland law.
In one indictment signed in December 2020 and published in September 2021 by a district procuratorate of Jiangsu province, several mainland China residents were each charged with the crime of “establishment of casino”.
This was for their alleged involvement in facilitating proxy betting by customers from mainland China, via “Tak Chun” -branded premises not identified by location, in the Manila casino market in the Philippines.
GGRAsia has approached for comment the three junket brands whose names were mentioned in the indictments, but had not received replies from them by the time this story went online.
A criminal case that led to the detention of Suncity Group gambling junket boss Alvin Chau Cheok Wa in Macau is linked to proxy betting in the Philippines and involved gamblers based in mainland China, according to a note published by Macau’s Public Prosecutions Office on Monday night.
The People’s Procuratorate of Wenzhou city, in Zhejiang province, recently “approved the arrest” of Mr Chau on suspicion of his involvement in “cross-border” gambling operations involving Chinese customers, and concerning “huge” amounts of capital.
Mainland China residents, particularly entrepreneurs, had been a prime target for “some casinos overseas,” and for people running “Internet gambling activities”, said Miao Shengming, head of the first prosecutor’s office at the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, in a Monday press briefing.
From January to September this year, prosecutors across the country had indicted a total of 1,376 individuals on the crime of “establishment of casino”, said Mr Miao.
The senior prosecutor cautioned people against involvement in the illegal activity of organising mainland Chinese citizens to gamble abroad, and added that a growing number of operators has allegedly used Internet platforms to connect gamblers within China.
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