Macau junket figurehead Alvin Chau has officially resigned as Chairman and Executive Director of both Suncity Group (HK: 1383) and its majority owned subsidiary Summit Ascent Holdings, the two companies confirmed overnight.
In identical Hong Kong Stock Exchange filings, Suncity Group and Summit Ascent said they had received letters from Chau “tendering his resignation from the posts of the chairman of the Board and an executive director, with effect from 1 December 2021, for the reason that his resignation would (in view of the pending legal proceedings against him) be in the best interests of the Company, and also allow him to devote more time for his personal matters.” No decision has yet been made on who will replace him as Chairman.
Chau was arrested by Macau authorities on Saturday and sent to Coloane Prison to await trial on Monday for alleged criminal association, illegal gambling and money laundering. More specifically, the Public Prosecutor’s Office has alleged Chau had established an online betting platform in the Philippines which offered proxy betting services to customers in mainland China, then funnelled proceeds to bank accounts held by Macau-based companies.
A day before his arrest and said to be unrelated to investigations conducted by Macau authorities, China’s Wenzhou Public Security Bureau had issued an arrest warrant of its own for the Suncity boss, accusing him of “opening casinos in China” via the operation of cross-border gambling operations on behalf of Suncity Gaming Promotion Company Limited (SCGPCL). SCGPCL is the entity owned by Chau that operates the group’s junket rooms.
Inside Asian Gaming broke the news on Tuesday that Suncity was closing all of its Macau VIP Clubs as of midnight on the morning of Wednesday 1 December 2021. In Wednesday’s filing, Suncity Group said it had been informed that SCGPCL would not be able to supply hotel accommodation products to the group and, as such, “the Group has suspended the operations of its travel and related business segment for the time being.”
Suncity noted that revenue generated from its dealings with SCGPCL had accounted for 17.4% of group-wide revenue for the last financial year.
Suncity Group leads the joint venture that owns and operates Hoiana in Vietnam and holds a 51% stake in a Philippines firm currently developing a US$1 billion hotel-casino project in Manila. It also owns a 69.66% stake in Summit Ascent which in turn owns 77.5% of Tigre de Cristal, an integrated resort located in Vladivostok, Russia.