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Former Suncity shareholder Cheong Chi Kin questions whether betting under the table comprises fraud

September 26, 2022 Macau Crime & LegalIndustry Updates

Former Suncity shareholder and agent Cheong Chi Kin told a Macau court on Friday that he did not believe “betting under the table” comprised an action of fraud because the junket had no control over whether players won or lost money.

A day after admitting to being involved in “betting under the table” practices in Suncity’s junket rooms, Cheong was back in court for a second day of testimony where it was put to him that Suncity has defrauded the Macau government and the concessionaires of some MOP$800 billion in taxable revenues by allowing players to place larger side bets “under the table”.

Although he expressed regret for his crimes, he also asked, “How can it be fraud when we can’t control the winning or losing of gamblers?

“Betting under the table in Macau has been around for a long time and I joined in because I learned from others. After the press conference of Alvin Chau in 2019 [at which he denied involvement in online gambling], the business environment deteriorated and I intentionally quit this business.”

Cheong again admitted to being involved in betting under the table and said, “For the fact it is illegal, I feel regret. I have been in the Coloane Prison so far more than half a year, my son has grown up a lot, my daughter turns 18 next year and has her graduation and I cannot participate in the graduation ceremony … but to be wrong is to be wrong, I will take the responsibility.”

The sixth defendant in the case, Chau Chun Hee, also appeared on Friday where he was charged with defrauding the government and concessionaires via betting under the table as well as illegal gaming. In particular he is said to have used telemarketing firm Sonnet to promote telephone betting services by SMS.

Chau noted that Sonnet not only undertook work on behalf of Suncity but also for the government and other organizations, however he said his company only sent messages and did not know the nature of the content.

Sonnet is a subsidiary of UO Group, owned by Chau Chun Hee, mainly responsible for software development and other IT technology.

The company stands accused of sending messages on behalf of Universal e-City – which is said to be Suncity’s online gaming portal. Overseeing Sonnet is the 18th defendant in the case, Li Siu Chung, who is currently serving a prison sentence in mainland China.

Source: https://www.asgam.com/index.php/2022/09/24/former-suncity-shareholder-cheong-chi-kin-questions-whether-betting-under-the-table-comprises-fraud/
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