Macau casino operator Wynn Macau Ltd has told GGRAsia that it is “highly concerned” about a report in Chinese state media that criminals might have netted as much as CNY55 million (US$7.9 million) by unauthorised use of the “Wynn Macau” name to promote a digital communications app in mainland China.
“We are highly concerned by this recently reported incident and we have been liaising with the Macau Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau accordingly,” said Wynn Macau Ltd – referring to the local gaming regulator – in its statement to us.
“Wynn Macau does not engage in any online investment or gaming sites. We encourage the public to be extremely wary of any sites claiming to have a connection with Wynn,” the company added.
The casino firm – controlled by United States-based gaming group Wynn Resorts Ltd – holds a Macau government concession to operate land-based casino gambling within Macau. Wynn Macau Ltd runs the Wynn Macau resort on Macau peninsula, and the Wynn Palace resort in the Cotai district.
Official news agency China News Service had carried a report on Tuesday – via its online portal – about police in Guiyang, the capital of Guizhou province in southwest China, breaking up what was described as an “Internet scam” that made use of the legally-protected “Wynn Macau” name.
Details of the alleged fraud were unclear. But the report said that more than 200 victims across 10 mainland provinces – including Guangdong next door to Macau, as well as Sichuan and Guizhou – had been lured into investing money in the app by promises of “fast” and “high” returns.
Online gambling – while not mentioned specifically in the China News Service report – is not legal in mainland China. In Macau, remote gambling – delivered via a website – is allowed only in very limited form via horse racing and sports betting; and only for the Macau domestic market.
But there have been frequent attempts by criminals inside and outside mainland China to make illegal use of Macau casino operators’ branding or protected marks, via online gambling services offering casino-style games and targeting Chinese customers.
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Amount that each Macau casino operator paid for the circa six-month extension of their respective contract