Macau’s Judiciary Police (PJ) have confirmed the arrest of two men suspected of illegally operating online gambling amid reports that one of the men is Tak Chun Group Chairman and Executive Director, Levo Chan.
According to details presented at a Sunday morning press conference, the PJ arrested a 49-year-old man with the surname of Chan as well as a 34-year-old man with the surname of Choi. Both are described as Macau residents and businessmen. IAG believes the second man is Billy Choi, CEO of Ying Hai Group Holdings Co Ltd (HKEx: 8668), known to regularly conduct car hire, rooms sales and concert ticket sales business with Tak Chun Group.
They were detained at a hotel in the NAPE area on Friday and brought to the police station for questioning but have refused to cooperate or answer any questions. Both have been charged with criminal organization, illegal gambling including online gambling and “betting under the table” (known as “賭枱底” in Chinese), and money laundering.
The PJ also confirmed the case was directly linked to that which led to the arrest and detainment without bail in late November of Suncity CEO Alvin Chau. Suncity subsequently announced the cessation of its junket business in mid-December.
Although the group Chan and Choi are connected to is not the same as Suncity, the PJ said it has obtained sufficient information to show that the groups worked together. A search of a workplace and residence in NAPE uncovered computers, servers and other equipment plus HK$4.1 million in cash, the PJ added.
Chan, named number 21 in the 2021 Asian Gaming Power 50, opened Tak Chun’s first Macau VIP Club in Galaxy Entertainment Group’s StarWorld in 2007 and until the events of recent months had grown the company to become Macau’s clear number two junket by market share, behind only Suncity. Tak Chun was only last week named as one of 46 VIP gaming promoters approved by the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) to operate in 2022.
Chan also acquired a personal 33.2% stake in Macau Legend – owner of the Macau Fisherman’s Wharf Precinct – in 2020 and was appointed Chairman and CEO shortly afterwards. Macau Legend, which operates Legend Palace and Babylon casinos under the license of SJM Resorts – recently said it plans to submit a bid for one of six casino concessions to be issued under the upcoming re-tendering for Macau gaming licenses.