Suncity Group is closing all VIP gaming rooms in Macau casinos on Wednesday, days after its boss Alvin Chau was detained for allegedly running an illegal cross-border gambling syndicate, local media have reported.
Chau was arrested over the weekend and remanded into custody accused of leading a criminal group, money laundering and illegal gambling, charges that can carry between three and 12 years in jail.
Suncity’s VIP salons at Galaxy Macau and StarWorld Hotel, two properties of Macau casino operator Galaxy Entertainment Group, will close as of December 1, the group told Macau’s public broadcaster TDM on Tuesday.
The group — Macau’s largest junket operator — said it will undergo “structural adjustments” following the VIP room closure, but denied reports that it had suspended staff salaries, TDM said.
Bloomberg News, citing an anonymous source, reported that at least one-third of Suncity’s Macau workers faced salary suspensions while staff are blocked from company systems such as email and chatrooms.
Both Suncity’s Hong Kong and Macau websites were inaccessible on Wednesday. Trading in the group’s shares in Hong Kong were also suspended on Wednesday, the second time this week.
The group has not responded to requests for comment from AFP.
Macau’s Labour Affairs Bureau said it had been in contact with Suncity regarding staff arrangements and had not received any complaints from employees, TDM reported Wednesday.
The group told Hong Kong’s stock exchange late Monday that Chau intended to resign from the board and the investigation would impact operations.
Prosecutors have accused Chau and 10 other senior executives of setting up an illegal online betting platform in the Philippines and soliciting mainland Chinese customers.
The high-profile arrest of a leading figure from Macau’s gaming industry comes as authorities crack down on the sector, with promises in September to strengthen regulation. (AFP)