Macau’s high court has sentenced ‘junket king’ Alvin Chau to 18 years in jail for offenses ranging from money laundering, bribery, and illegal gambling. He was also fined MOP$20 million (US$2.5 million). The sentencing marks a major victory for the Macau government, which has been fighting against organized crime and corruption since 2002. In his ruling, the judge noted that Mr. Chau’s actions had “severely hurt social morality and undermined justice.” This post will explore the case against Mr. Chau, how it fits into the broader picture of organized crime in Macau, and what the implications of his sentence may be moving forward.
Who is Alvin Chau?
Alvin Chau is a well-known Chinese businessman and casino operator in Macau. He has been nicknamed the “junket king” due to his involvement in the city’s VIP gambling industry. Chau was arrested in 2016 on charges of money laundering and released on bail in 2017. In 2019, he was sentenced to jail for seven and a half years on charges of bribery and money laundering.
What is a junket operator?
In short, a junket king operator is a middleman that brings high-stakes gamblers to casinos. In Macau, these operators are licensed by the government and usually work with one or two casinos. Many of them have strong ties to organized crime.
Junket operators typically extend credit to their clients, who are typically wealthy Chinese businessmen and politicians. The junket operator collects a commission on the gambling debt, as well as a percentage of any winnings.
The industry has come under scrutiny in recent years due to concerns about money laundering and other criminal activity. In 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice indicted 19 people, including several junket operators, on charges related to money laundering and bank fraud.
What did Chau do?
In 2014, Alvin Chau was sentenced to six years and eight months in jail for illegal gaming promotion. The penalty is one of the most severe punishments ever handed down to a VIP room operator in Macau.
Chau was convicted of using his company, Suncity Group, to extend loans worth over HK$1 billion (US$129 million) to gamblers from mainland China through a series of cash transactions between 2011 and 2012.
According to prosecutors, Chau’s actions violated a regulation that prohibits junket operators from lending money to gamblers. Junket operators are middlemen who bring high-rollers from mainland China to gamble in Macau’s casinos.
Chau’s lawyer argued that his client did not know that his actions were illegal and that he should be given a lenient sentence because he has no previous criminal record.
The judge disagreed and sentenced Chau to six years and eight months in jail.
How long will Chau be in jail for?
Chau will be in jail for at least six years, and possibly up to 20 years, for his role in illegal gambling activities.
What are the implications of this case?
The implications of this case are far-reaching. Alvin Chau was sentenced to over seven years in jail for his role in illegal gambling activities, which is a huge win for the government’s crackdown on gambling and money laundering in Macau. This case also sends a strong message to other junket operators that they will not be tolerated, and could face similar consequences if they continue to engage in illegal activity. This could lead to a decrease in illegal gambling and money laundering in Macau, as well as other jurisdictions where junket operators operate.