Troubles mount for Macau junket giant

Shares of Macau junket operator, Suncity Group, have been suspended again as the fallout from the arrest of its CEO Alvin Chau continues.

Chau was detained in Macau on Sunday, following a crackdown by mainland authorities on cross-border gambling.

It's the second trading suspension in three days for the stock, and Macau media has been reporting that the Suncity Group will now close all of its VIP gaming rooms in Macau casinos.

Ben Lee, the managing partner of Macau gaming consultancy, IGamiX, told RTHK that Beijing had been issuing edicts against mainland gambling being routed offshore, and that Macau has been added to its blacklist.

"Our suspicion is that it's different tiers of treatment that will apply to different countries," he said.

"It's our contention that Macau is part of the blacklist …. in that they are now currently monitoring and physically individually approving visits to Macau."

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"This latest development confirms our suspicion that Macau is not exempt," Lee said.

Some gaming consultants estimate that Suncity accounts for over half of Macau's junket revenue, which amounts to about 50 percent of the SAR's total gaming revenues.

Part of the Macau investigation is reported to involve a Russian resort close to China's northeast border, which is controlled by Hong Kong-listed Summit Ascent Holdings, of which the Suncity Group is the controlling shareholder.

Authorities in Wenzhou, in eastern Zhejiang province, have also issued an arrest warrant for Chau. They accuse him of operating gaming activities on the mainland where gambling is illegal.

Artmotion China

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