Posted on: February 9, 2022, 07:31h.
Last updated on: February 9, 2022, 09:36h.
Suncity Group and its legal issues aren’t remaining only in Asia. They have now expanded into the US, with a Las Vegas union asking federal regulators to intervene.
The International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE), Local 501 believes there’s probable cause for a closer look at Suncity in the US, according to a press release. The union, which represents around 2,000 Vegas workers, wants to determine if the embattled junket operator has concrete links to organized crime in the US.
The union, comprised mainly of construction workers, expects to dig up ties between former Suncity boss Alvin Chau, the junket operator, and US-based casino operators. Representatives assert that the involvement of US casino operators with activity overseas and with ties to Suncity is a substantial foundation for the investigation.
It has reportedly reached out to several US federal agencies to request the launch of an investigation. The union sent its request via letters to the Justice Department, the Secretary of State, and the Treasury Department. In addition, the White House National Security Council and the US Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations also received one.
The union asserts that Suncity has not been just a VIP junket operator. Instead, the junket has had extensive involvement in organized crime and money laundering. The union used the arrest of Chau and the charges against him as evidence.
Suncity’s “Provable” and Questionable Ties
The fact that Chau may have had some link to the $81 million stolen from the Bangladesh Central Bank at the Federal Reserve in New York only adds to the mystery. Moreover, the New York Times reported in 2017 that North Korea was behind the hack. That provides a possible link between the country and Chau.
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,” said the International Union of Operating Engineers.
It also highlights the discovery of $5.6 million in cash at a Suncity VIP room at Crown Melbourne in Australia. As a result, the union asserts that the “money-laundering alarms” began ringing after that event in 2018.
Union’s Direct Approaches Ignored
The IUOE reportedly tried to work directly with gambling regulators to find a solution, but to no avail. It adds in its press release that state-run gambling regulators “have proven either unwilling or incapable” of overseeing VIP junket activity. Furthermore, they also haven’t done enough to learn how the activity aligns with US-based casino operators overseas.
The union falls short of describing what it hopes to get out of any investigation that may surface. An email sent to by Casino.org was not answered at the time of publication.
Casino operators in Macau have almost completely shunned Suncity and the rest of the junkets operating in the city. The segment was already losing favor well before the Chau debacle. But the fallout isn’t over yet. If the feds decide to step in, there’s no telling what other dirt might be kicked up.