Former Suncity shareholder and agent Cheong Chi Kin said in a Macau court on Friday that he did not believe “betting under the table” was a fraudulent action because the junket had no control over whether players won or lost money.
A day after admitting to being involved in “under the table” betting practices at Suncity’s junket halls, Cheong was back in court for a second day of testimony where he was told that Suncity had defrauded the Macau government and concessionaires of some MOPs. $800 billion in taxable income by allowing players to place larger side bets “under the table”.
Although he expressed regret for his crimes, he also asked, “How can this be fraud when we can’t control players’ winnings or losses?”
“Under the table betting in Macau has been around for a long time and I joined because I learned from others. After Alvin Chau’s press conference in 2019 [at which he denied involvement in online gambling]the business environment deteriorated and I voluntarily left this company.
Cheong again admitted to being involved in under-the-table betting and said, “For the fact that it’s illegal, I feel regret. I have been in coloane prison for over six months, my son has grown a lot, my daughter will be 18 next year and will graduate and I can’t attend the graduation ceremony…but be wrong, it is 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 dealers through under-the-table betting as well as illegal gambling. In particular, he would have used the telemarketing company 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, but he said his company only sends messages and does not know the nature of the content.
Sonnet is a subsidiary of UO Group, owned by Chau Chun Hee, primarily responsible for the development of software and other computer technologies.
The company is accused of sending messages on behalf of Universal e-City, which is believed to be Suncity’s online gaming portal. Sonnet is overseen by the 18th defendant in the case, Li Siu Chung, who is currently serving a prison sentence in mainland China.