In Las Vegas and the local branch of the International Union of Operating Engineers has called for the federal government to launch a formal investigation into the ‘historic relationships’ between American casino firms and beleaguered Macau junket operator Suncity Group.
The trade union’s Local 501 arm used an official Tuesday press release to declare that it has sent letters to various branches of the nation’s government asking for ‘a coordinated United States federal investigation’ into the business practices of the junket enterprise and its owner, Alvin Chau Cheok Wa.
The Local 501 branch of the International Union of Operating Engineers represents some 2,000 people employed primarily in construction, heavy equipment and mechanic roles for casinos in southern Nevada. The organization stated that its plea, which was moreover sent to United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken, also comes after the appearance of ‘alarming public reports’ about Suncity Group following Chau’s arrest in China on contentious illegal gambling and money laundering charges.
The trade union pronounced that its request to the United States Department of Justice, United States Treasury Department, United States Senate Permanent Sub-Committee on Investigations and White House National Security Council moreover follows claims that Chau has been running ‘a cross-boundary gambling syndicate’ that allowed Chinese nationals ‘to travel to VIP junkets’ for the purposes of taking part in various forms of ‘cross-boundary gambling.’ The establishment asserted that this ‘should alarm United States officials’ as several overseas casinos owned by American firms ‘have for years collaborated extensively with Suncity Group’ in order to attract ‘high-roller gamblers’ to play within their ‘exclusive Suncity-branded VIP rooms.’
Read a statement from the trade union’s Local 501 branch…
“Alvin Chau Cheok Wa’s Suncity Group has operated as a ‘junket agent’ for casinos throughout East Asia, recruiting and issuing credit to high rollers including many from mainland China to gamble in exclusive casino VIP rooms. However, the VIP-junket industry has long been tainted by reports of organized crime influence and money laundering.”
The Las Vegas arm of the International Union of Operating Engineers furthermore proclaimed that even before Chau’s late-November arrest and he had been banned from travelling to Australia ‘due to his alleged criminal links.’ The trade union additionally asserted that this came after the casino regulator for the state of New South Wales labelled the 47-year-old as having ‘links to organized crime’ after some $4 million was discovered inside one of his firm’s high-roller rooms within the Crown Melbourne facility.
The Local 501 branch’s statement read…
“Local 501 is engaging with United States federal authorities because state-run gambling regulators have proven either unwilling or incapable of regulating VIP-junket activity and its interplay with United States casino companies operating abroad.”