Suncity Group, the largest recruiter of high-roller Chinese gamblers, is downsizing its operations in Australia after facing recent allegations of links to organised crime in the region.
The end of the previous week saw the second-biggest casino operator in Australia, Star Entertainment, announce that it had made a mutual decision with Suncity in the last ten days under which VIP rooms inside The Star’s flagship casino in Sydney would be closed. According to sources familiar with the matter, the fixed high-roller room at the Crown Casino Melbourne would also be shut as part of the company’s exodus from the region.
Currently, Suncity is the largest junket agent which is engaged with bringing wealthy Chinese players to Australian casinos where local gambling operators can offer them to take advantage of various high-roller gambling options.
As previously reported by Casino Guardian, Suncity has been facing allegations for joining forces with organisations and operations which have been associated with illegal activities and criminal groups. These reports, however, have seriously hurt the company’s reputation, which has eventually led to its decision to close some of its VIP rooms in Australia. Leaked reports have stated that the controlling entities of Suncity Group posed “tangible criminal and reputational risks” to large-scale money laundering activities.
Suncity Allegedly Has Been Working in Collaboration with Illegal Organisations
The announcement made by the Star casino has come after the high-profile board of directors at the Crown removed their public advertisements related to the company’s relationship with Suncity Group and other junket operators.
The decision made by the largest VIP Chinese gamblers’ recruiter to curtail its Australian operations has come after local media have reported of forbidden relations between the junket operator and criminal organisations in the region. Still, the Chief Executive Officer of the Group, Matt Bekier, said that the company has been working in a prescribed and legal way with junket operators.
A spokesperson for Suncity has reminded that the Group started to work in collaboration with Crown since 2014, and is currently operating one high-roller club in Crown Melbourne. Suncity offers services such as transportation and accommodation arrangements for wealthy VIP customers who are willing to travel to Melbourne, and the Crown Melbourne casino, respectively.
The gambling regulatory body of New South Wales has recently revealed the launch of an independent inquiry of the relationship between Crown and some junket operators. The investigation is still on the table and it is set to be led by a former Supreme Court judge.
While Suncity Group is reducing its presence in Australia, the company has been busy to expand the presence of its high-roller operations through opening new or enlarged VIP clubs in recent months. These clubs include the launch of the brand’s Resorts World Manila club last week, which added to Suncity’s existing operations at Okada Manila, Solaire and City of Dreams Manila.