Representatives from Asian junket operator, Suncity Group, have reportedly been questioned by officials from Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau regulator over claims that the firm may be offering ‘proxy’ online gaming services.

‘Proxy’ prohibition:

According to a report, ‘proxy’ online wagering involves casino players utilizing technology such as audio headsets and video links in order to instruct stand-ins to physically place wagers on their behalf within land-based facilities where they are not present. The practice is illegal in Macau although it is alleged to be particularly popular is jurisdictions such as the Philippines and Cambodia where Suncity Group is known to offer more traditional junket services to a pool of chiefly mainland Chinese patrons.

Newspaper’s claims:

GGRAsia reported that the contention the junket operator was offering ‘proxy’ online wagering services first emerged via a Monday story from the Economic Information Daily newspaper, which is affiliated with China’s state-backed Xinhua news service. The publication purportedly declared that it had been in touch with approximately 30 players who had utilized such remote facilities associated with Suncity Group and that these had been tempted via the firm’s operations in Macau.

Advanced appreciation:

The Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau proclaimed that the purpose of the examination had been to better ‘understand the situation’ concerning the claims that privately-held Suncity Group had been involved in offering ‘proxy betting’ and ‘online gaming’ services. The regulator purportedly also pointed to 2016 guidance that sought to end such activities and stated that any violations, even if these had occurred outside of Macau, could prompt it to ‘take serious action.’

Robust rebuttal:

However, it was later noted that no Macau-based junket firm has yet to be found guilty of having breached these earlier rules while Suncity used a later statement to refute the Economic Information Daily’s claims. The firm purportedly proclaimed that the newspaper’s accusations were ‘false’ and ‘mostly conjectures’ and that it ‘has never owned any gaming venues or gaming tables.’

Suncity gave the following statement…

“Our company’s VIP gaming promotion business is legal and has never owned any gaming venues or gaming tables. Our company also does not operate any online gaming business. The VIP gaming promotion businesses that the group and its entities undertake in Macau and other countries and regions are all licensed, legitimate and regulated by the governments of their respective jurisdictions.”