Located on the Macau peninsula, the L’Arc Casino Hotel is the latest venue to see a case of alleged fraud in the VIP industry of the area. The police force of the city have confirmed that a complaint was received by a representative of the casino involving $12.9 million.
On Tuesday a Judiciary Police spokesman spoke with reporters, stating that the police force had received the complaint on the 3rd of January. Investigations are ongoing and no suspects have been arrested in the case, thus far.
Some media reports suggest the complaint stems around a senior member of the staff of L’Arc who is responsible for overseeing the VIP rooms that are managed at the casino. This person has been employed with the casino for over five years.
SJM Holdings Ltd is the license holder of the L’Arc property, with Angela Leong On Kei holding part ownership of the property. She is Stanley Ho Hung Sun’s fourth consort, executive director and shareholder of SJM Holdings. Ms. Leong spoke with reporters on the fraud case once reports surfaced, stating that she is not directly involved in the L’Arc day to day operations. She expects quick results in regards to the police investigation.
This is the third time a high profile fraud case has surfaced in the VIP segment over the past two years in Macau. The troubles began in 2014, in April, when Huang Shan, a junket operator, was taking a ‘dividend’ each month of 2.5% from junket investors in exchange for junket capital. He fled with a reported HKD10 billion.
In September, Dore Entertainment Co Ltd announced they had been the latest junket operator to become a victim of internal fraud by a former employee. Police received reports that individuals were presenting themselves as investors in the cage operations of Dore, with as much as HKD520 million suspected to be involved by October’s end.
This latest case of fraud involving L’Arc now could see regulations tightened in Macau. Hong Kong’s Deutsche Bank AG believes the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, known as the DICJ, will be trying to solve this issue. Karen Tang, an analyst, believes the incident will result in tighter regulations for junkets, especially the way they raise capital.
The new head of the DICJ, Paulo Martins Chan, has stated to the public that the government needs to improve the gaming industry’s legal framework in Macau to be able to strengthen the oversight of the industry. If tighter regulations are put in place, Tang feels that the small junkets will go out of business sometime after February and the bigger junket operators could face redemption pressures.