Macau has put a lot of pressure on its casinos and gambling industry lately with the special administrative region or SAR choosing to crack down on junket operators, overhaul licensing rules, and generally introduce a new, stricter governance framework that dictates the day-to-day operations of gambling establishments in the jurisdiction. This is why some have been tempted to stay one step ahead of law enforcement actions, even at the cost of committing a crime.
VIP gambling halls try to make friends in high places
One of the victims of this practice is an assistant sergeant in the traffic department of Macau Public Security Police who is suspected of providing information to a VIP gambling hall regarding police operations in exchange for bribes.
The sergeant was named during a briefing by the Commission Against Corruption (CCAC) who detailed the case on Monday. According to the CCAC, the sergeant received money and accommodation in a luxury hotel in exchange for insider information about the current movements of law enforcement authorities, allowing the game room to operate undisturbed.
An anonymous tip, however, was placed with the CCAC which said the sergeant was ‘very close’ with people in VIP gambling hall circles and that he may have violated the law by providing information in return. gifts and other assets. The tip specified that the sergeant had received money and other goods.
According to the CCAC, the case involves “large amounts of cash”. The anti-corruption body also found communication devices that were allegedly used by the sergeant and the VIP game room to exchange information. Authorities also targeted the VIP gambling hall and successfully seized computers, phones and documents to establish the events.
Macau is collapsing on the gambling industry
The case will now be considered by the public prosecutor. Macau has had a busy time when it comes to its gambling industry. As lawmakers try to tweak the details of what the new gambling framework would look like, the SAR has agreed to extend the current licenses by six months to reflect additional time required to complete gambling reforms.
Meanwhile, the SAR is not just relying on casinos and gambling to boost its economy, as interest in hotel accommodation is expected to rise. Current events have also forced many companies to rethink their strategies in Macau. Las Vegas Sands has become the latest company to drop its involvement with junket operators as the sector has come under scrutiny following the arrests of some of the industry’s most prominent representatives , including Alvin Chau and Chan Weng Lin.