Oz bars junket boss: claim

Business | Stella Zhai 6 Aug 2019

The chief executive of junket operator Suncity (1383), Alvin Chau Cheok-wa, has been barred by Australia from entering the country following a probe into dealings between junket operators and local gaming companies, Australian media reported.

Leaked reports acquired by the Australian media showed that officials of the Hong Kong Jockey Club were informed by "Australian Law Enforcement" in May 2017 that Chau was suspected of "large-scale money laundering activities."

A report also stated that Suncity's controlling entities, including Chau, may pose "tangible criminal and reputational risks" to the club and racing integrity in Hong Kong.

Suncity, the biggest junket operator in Macau, is the major partner of Crown Resorts, one of Australia's largest gaming and entertainment groups, and also provides VIP gambling tours to casinos run by Crown Resorts' rival, The Star, according to the media.

The company published a statement after trading yesterday clarifying that Chau has no intention to go to Australia for the next 12 months and he is not aware of the investigation of Australian casinos, and the company has no business operations in Australia.

Chau said he is not the subject of any Australian investigation at the time of the announcement.

Chau was previously criticized by mainland media in July over claims the online gambling platform under Suncity was operating a casino business in the mainland, and has led to capital outflows of more than one trillion yuan (HK$1.11 trillion).

Chau had clarified that the business had not broken any laws in the mainland or Macau, but was sorry for the negative impact on the Macau government and Suncity's peers in the gaming industry.

Suncity tumbled 27.1 percent at one stage to HK$1.02, wiping HK$2.5 billion off its valuation, before closing at HK$1.15 yesterday, 17.86 percent lower.


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