Macau’s Judiciary Police arrested on Wednesday 19 people from mainland China on suspicion they were running an illicit VIP gambling room in a city hotel and scamming the players they allegedly enticed to take part.
Macau’s public broadcaster TDM reported that the hotel involved was in NAPE district. The 19 suspects were alleged respectively to be playing roles as security guards, dealers, VIP hosts, VIP room operators and gamblers. Four ‘customers’ were also found during the operation.
The Judiciary Police said they suspected the alleged conspirators had been running illicit VIP rooms in various locations in Macau for up to two years. The operation allegedly involved card shoes doctored in order to manipulate the advantage to the ‘house’.
According to Chinese-language newspaper Macao Daily News, a mainland resident filed a report to the police in June, claiming that someone had set up a VIP room in a hotel room and lured mainland residents to gamble there.
At least five people fell for the alleged scam and owed debts to the suspects. The authorities are still investigating to see if any alleged conspirators remain at large.
The gaming-related crime situation in Macau remains “serious”, the director of the Judiciary Police, Chau Wai Kuong said in a speech on July 12.
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DS Kim, Amanda Cheng and Livy Lyu
Analysts at brokerage JP Morgan Securities (Asia Pacific)