Macau’s Public Prosecutions Office, or MP, is shifting gears and increasing its workload, as in trial on Tuesday it notified that the current ongoing case against Suncity and its former head, Alvin Chau, would not be focusing on phone betting conducted inside the SAR’s casinos – and specifically in VIP rooms. This rather, would become the focus of another case – tasked specifically with looking into the matter, reports TDM Canal Macau.
Instead, the ongoing case intends to focus on the alleged promotion of gaming activities outside of the territory, aside from the alleged proxy bets which the prosecution claims shorted the government of over $1 billion in revenue.
The move comes as three veterans of Macau’s gaming watchdog, the DICJ, testified on Tuesday, indicating that they had not seen or received complaints regarding proxy betting during their time as inspectors. One indicated he had never even heard of proxy betting taking place in Macau until the current trial began.
It was also noted in the testimony that the DICJ guidelines at the time did not place such oversight in their hands, and implementation of follow-ups and mitigation of any such claims were handled directly with the gaming concessionaires and sub-concessionaires – whose responsibility it was to then rectify the matter with the junket in question.
One inspector, Paulo Basaloco, told the court that junkets had not been explicitly notified that they would violate the law by promoting bets outside of Macau. This is an accusation Suncity is facing for allegedly using its Macau VIP rooms to funnel bets to its Manila property, primarily via phone bets. The defense continues to rule out any possible use of online proxy bets.
Only one inspector, reports TDM, indicated that he had witnessed promotional material for a foreign casino inside a Suncity junket room, but had not directly witnessed this being promoted to Suncity’s clients. This information was then passed on to the gaming concessionaire where the VIP room was located, to ensure its removal.
The only complaints received regarding the junket, noted the inspector, were regarding smoking in the VIP rooms.
TDM Canal Macau also notes that further cases could be going forward against the junket and its former head. These involve former clients of the junket who allege losing their deposits placed within the VIP room operator.
The broadcaster notes two current cases, with the expectation that other former clients will also advance with claims against Suncity.