Las Vegas casino worker union calls for US federal investigation on gaming operators’ former ties with Suncity

Macau Business
Las Vegas casino worker union calls for US federal investigation on gaming operators’ former ties with Suncity
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A Las Vegas casino workers union has called for a coordinated US federal investigation into former junket operator Suncity and its former business ties with US-linked gaming companies.

The public statement was issued by the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 501, which represents over 2,000 members, primarily construction workers who work as heavy equipment operators, mechanics in casinos in Las Vegas, Nevada.

In November 2021, authorities in Macau detained the head of Sunicty, Alvin Chau, and 10 other people under charges of running a cross-border gambling syndicate. The company – previously the largest VIP gaming promoter operating the city – later filed for dissolution.

‘Alvin Chau’s SunCity Group has operated as a “junket agent” for casinos throughout East Asia, recruiting and issuing credit to high rollers (many from mainland China) to gamble in exclusive casino VIP rooms. The VIP-junket industry, however, has long been tainted by reports of organised crime influence and money laundering,’ the union added.

‘These findings should alarm U.S. officials. Multiple US-based casino licensees with overseas operations have for years collaborated extensively with Chau’s SunCity Group to bring high roller gamblers to their properties and accommodate exclusive “SunCity”-branded VIP rooms inside their casinos’

The union then asked U.S. federal authorities to step in since ‘state-run gambling regulators have proven either unwilling or incapable’ of regulating VIP-junket activity and its interplay with U.S. casino companies operating abroad.

The group has also made similar calls to the U.S. Justice Department, the U.S. Secretary of State, the U.S. Treasury Department, the White House National Security Council and the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.

Before its closing Suncity was believed to control a 40 per cent market share on the local VIP gaming room business, with VIP rooms in properties held by almost all Macau gaming concessionaires and sub-concessionaires.

Since December, 2021 at least three gaming concessionaires, Sands China, Melco Resorts and Wynn Macau are believed to have cut ties with all local junket promoters.

Last month also saw the arrest of the boss of junket group Tak Chun, Levo Chan, in a case authorities have indicated to be connected to the Suncity arrests.