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Asia round-up: Chau trial nears conclusion; The Star in court and Macau’s testing order

Chau trial closing arguments begin 

Asia round up min

Closing arguments in the case of former junket boss Alvin Chau have begun, with Chau’s legal representatives claiming there is a lack of evidence to suggest the ex-CEO solicited or managed under-the-table betting. 

Alongside this, Chau’s lawyer Leong Hon Man claimed the junket boss had little to gain from under-the-table betting activities, given that Suncity Group generated more than $10bn a year.  

Leong said: “Suncity Group’s revenue even exceeded that of Las Vegas. It’s the world’s largest junket company; every meeting was recorded, and even the witness of the DICJ testified that no illegal activities were found in the Suncity VIP rooms. 

“There is no evidence of financial transactions in any of the evidence. There is no evidence to support this. There is no evidence that Alvin Chau received any revenue from betting under the table companies.” 

Charges made against Chau include allowing 40,000 under-the-table bets to occur in 229 VIP clubs, features Leong further refuted. 

Regarding money laundering, Leong refuted all claims that the company generated any revenue from the transfer of funds and said all evidence of this was very slim. 

However, lawyers for Macau operators Wynn Resorts, Galaxy, MGM Resorts and The Venetian were all present in court, and all sided with the prosecution, claiming they should receive compensation from Suncity.  

AUSTRAC commences civil penalty proceedings against Star Entertainment entities

The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) has commenced civil penalty proceedings in the Federal Court against The Star Pty Limited and The Star Entertainment QLD Limited.

The proceedings involve alleged serious and systemic non-compliance with Australia’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CTF) laws. 

“Suncity Group’s revenue even exceeded that of Las Vegas. It’s the world’s largest junket company; every meeting was recorded, and even the witness of the DICJ testified that no illegal activities were found in the Suncity VIP rooms. There is no evidence of financial transactions in any of the evidence. There is no evidence to support this. There is no evidence that Alvin Chau received any revenue from betting under the table companies”

Leong Hon Man, Lawyer

They come after an industry-wide compliance campaign from AUSTRAC that began in September 2019, leading to the opening of an enforcement investigation into The Star Pty Limited in June 2021. 

The investigation was expanded to include The Star Entertainment Qld Limited and other Star entities in January of this year. AUSTRAC has worked closely with state and federal agencies with a regulatory interest in the Star Entities throughout the investigation, including the New South Wales and Queensland gaming regulators and the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC). 

Macau orders mandatory Covid-19 home testing for 3 days 

Macau’s SAR Government has ordered everyone in the region to take a rapid antigen test for three consecutive days from 30 November, for fear that there may be hidden Covid-19 infections in the local community.  

Announced by the city’s Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre, the measure requests residents to take the test themselves, with no mass screen testing scheduled to take place.  

Several positive cases have been reported in Macau recently, after those with symptoms were linked to a local taxi driver.

Macau continues to adopt Mainland China’s zero-Covid policy, which has had a detriment to Macau’s economic status since the pandemic began.  

Missed a big gambling industry story in Asia? Don't worry, Gambling Insider has you covered with our Asia round-up.  

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