Saturday, May 28, 2022

Suncity Group denies online gaming, proxy betting in China


Junket and casino operator Suncity Group has denied accusations that it is running online gaming and proxy betting in China through offshore online casinos.

The accusations were made by China's state-run press. 

“Our company’s VIP gaming promotion business is legal, and never owns any gaming venues or gaming tables. Our company also does not operate any online gaming business," it said in a statement.

According to a note from Bernstein, the article gave an overview of how Suncity signs up Chinese players for online gaming/proxy betting when they come through Macau casinos. 

Underground banks are also involved in this process to move capital out of China, as play can be settled in RMB.

Suncity has since released a statement (in Chinese) that denied the allegations, according to Bernstein. 

Suncity is the largest junket operator in Macau, and over the last few years, has been increasing its involvement in the Asia IR space. It is involved in developing a casino resort in Vietnam and has taken a significant stake in Russian casino operator Summit Ascent Holdings. 

“From our recollection, this is the first time official Chinese press has linked a junket with online gaming activity,” said Bernstein.

“It is too early to tell what ramification this article brings (if any). The article itself could be a warning message for Suncity and maybe other online gaming/proxy betting operators to tone down excessive offshore play. Junkets may face greater scrutiny on their offshore businesses, some gameplay may gravitate back to Macau as players may retreat from online play and junkets may face greater scrutiny in Macau on how they interact with players (with respect to signing them up for online accounts in Macau),” it added. 

Asia Gaming Brief is a news and intelligence service providing up to date market information for worldwide executives on relevant gaming issues in Asia.

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