Macau’s Syndicate Operated Illegal Cross-Border Gambling to Generate $2.4 Million Profit

The illegal gambling organization run by Alvin Chau, the founder of the Macau-based gambling operator Suncity Group, received more than $42 billion in bets from Chinese gamblers from 2015 to 2019, Asian Gaming Brief reports. Over the given period, the syndicate organized cross-border gambling operations through a large number of of agents to collect the profit of around $2.4 million. With Macau prohibiting online gambling and Mainland China not allowing any form of gambling, the founder and CEO of the Suncity Group was sentenced to 18 years in prison in January 2022.

$42.2 Billion Illegal Handle:

As Asian Gaming Brief reports, the details of the syndicate’s mode of operation have now been unveiled by the Chinese National Television CCTV. The broadcaster has reportedly come up with the amounts handled by the illegal online organization, as well as the banks and agents used as intermediaries to channel the funds to the illegal organization.

According to the source, Alvin Chau launched an online gambling business in the Philippines in 2015 with an aim to draw customers from Mainland China. The details about the geographical reach of the network used to target Chinese customers have not been revealed, but the fact that the investigation found 283 syndicate’s agents across the country testifies about the coverage sufficient enough to accomplish a $42.2 billion handle over five years of illegal operations.

Crucial Role of Suncity Executive:

As reported, Alvin Chau was arrested in 2021 by Macau Judiciary Police following the order for arrest issued by a court in Mainland China’s Zhejiang province’s Wenzhou. The Wenzhou Intermediate Court reportedly held a trial in August 2022 and designated Alvin Chau and Zhang Ningning as the leaders of a cross-border gambling syndicate. Judge Wang Haoze revealed that the syndicate used the Suncity’s IT and financial infrastructure for the illegal venture to clearly indicate the Chau’s role. Ningning governed the related asset management company in Mainland China, according to Asian Gaming Brief.

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Judge Wang reportedly said: ”In order to maximize profits, Chau lured others to act as agents using commissions and dividends as bait. Through these agents, he organized and attracted Chinese nationals to participate in gambling in Suncity-operated gambling rooms or engage in cross-border online gambling.’

Operation Scheme:

Judge Wang reportedly added that the agents were required to buy a minimum of $640,000 in shares to enter the scheme. In return, they were required to accomplish a minimum monthly handle of $6.4 million. As the source reports, the operation scheme thus involved 283 Chinese agents who generated a total handle of $42.2 billion from 2015 to 2019, with financial and service support from a syndicate’s company established in China for the given purpose. The group reportedly used illegal shadow banks to settle gambling funds and remain invisible for the competent authorities.

$2.4 Million Profit:

As reported by Asian Gaming Brief, the court said that ‘‘syndicate also established or provided technical support or services such as gambler m hot646 anagement, vehicle transportation, publicity, and promotion through Chinese companies, making the entire criminal activity more hidden.’’ The group violated a series of state regulations in making cross-border payments totaling to around $163 million to make illegal profit of more than $2.4 million, according to the source.

As a result, Alvin Chau was sentenced to 18 years in prison in January 2023. The case impacted instant regulatory changes and the Court reportedly noted: ‘‘Suncity case has directly led to Criminal Law Amendment changes, as Chinese authorities have criminalized all types of soliciting behavior to participate in cross-border gambling.’’