Former Suncity Group CEO Alvin Chau, who was convicted of fraud and facilitating illegal gambling in January 2023, has been given an 18-year prison sentence that is being appealed by both his defence and the prosecution. The Macau Court of Second Instance is currently considering the requests from the disgraced 48-year-old junket kingpin’s legal team to reduce the punishment, while the Office of the Prosecutor General is asking the same court to extend it by 3.5 years to a total of 21.5 years.
Despite the serious nature of the charges – including 136 instances of fraud and a single charge of running a gang – the likelihood of the Second Instance Court changing the sentence is slim, as Macau’s appellate courts rarely reduce prison sentences ordered by lower courts. If the ruling is not amended, the prosecution and defence may have one final appeal opportunity with the Macau Court of Final Appeal.
The downfall of Chau has seen the departure of rival junket operators from Macau to more favourable jurisdictions in Southeast Asia, leaving only 36 remaining. To further complicate their business, the enclave imposed a 5% tax on their commissions in January 2023, which the Macau Gaming Promoter Professionals Association has asked the government to consider waiving