Macau Junket Operator Denies Accusations Of Online Gambling
Suncity Group, one of Macau’s biggest junket operators has recently come under fire after a mainland Chinese media outlet accused the firm of being involved in illegal online gambling activities.
Xinhua and Economic Information Daily which are both state-backed news agencies, Suncity Group is involved in “online gaming” and “proxy betting”.
However, Suncity is not taking these accusations lying down.
The group released a statement saying that these allegations are false and just conjectures that are damaging to the company’s reputation.
In a statement, the company wrote
Our company’s VIP gaming promotion business is legal, and never owned any gaming venues or gaming tables. Our company also does not operate any online gaming business. The VIP gaming promotion business that the group and other of its entities undertake in Macau and in other countries or regions are all licensed, legitimate and regulated by the governments in the respective jurisdictions.
The initial report released by the Economic Information Daily, claimed that their reporters had contacted 30 players who confirmed that they have used the online gaming services associated with the Suncity Brand. Additionally, Suncity is supposed to have used their Macau venues to promote their online gambling applications to those outside Macau.
These accusations have had an impact on company stock which is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. During Tuesday’s trading, the stock dropped by 20 percent even though the stock portfolio does not have any Macau-based gaming-related assets listed. However, it does have a list of casinos in Southeast Asia that is part of its portfolio.
China To Crack Down On Illegal iGaming?
Gaming analysts believe that this article is an indication that Beijing is ready to make a move on unlicensed online gaming operations. The article on Suncity Group was the first article from Chinese media that links an individual company with online gambling activity. This could be a warning shot fired against companies like Suncity which operate online gaming/proxy betting operations.
The report by Economic Information Daily suggests that individuals who work for Suncity have helped consumers to settle remote wagers with Chinese yuan. Additionally, proxy betting by Suncity associates is supposed to be taking place in the Philippines and Cambodia.
Many expect this recent crackdown on online gambling to send a message to Macau based operators who run offshore operations. There is also a possibility that Macau’s casinos and junket operators may be subjected to more scrutiny to see how they go about signing up people for online gambling accounts.
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