Local junket operator Suncity Group Chairman Alvin Chau Cheok Wa said on Saturday that no legal action would be taken against any media, a U-turn from his company’s statement last week following an allegedly “false report” about claims that it was running an illegal online gaming business.
Chau held a press conference at Mandarin Oriental in Nape on Saturday where he read out a statement, insisting that his company and related companies have not engaged in any business violating mainland and local laws.
There was no Q&A session at the press conference that lasted about 15 minutes with Chau reading a statement in Cantonese, with an English translation read out by an assistant.
Chau, who said he was not being investigated by the mainland authorities and was not on the central government’s “wanted” list, said that he was “deeply sorry for all the inconvenience caused” to the government and possible negative impact on the local gaming operators and hoped that “the concerns generated in both mainland China and the Macau Special Administrative Region will be eased.”
Last week, the Economic Information Daily, a state-owned newspaper, affiliated to Xinhua News Agency, reported that Suncity had raked in billions of US dollars in online gaming and proxy betting, causing great harm to mainland China’s social economic order.
The Chinese-language Economic Information Daily is widely regarded as a newspaper of record whose reports are often quoted by other media organisations such as international newswires. Reuters last week ran a story on the newspaper’s investigative report about Suncity’s allegedly illegal activities.
Suncity published a statement in the Macao Daily News newspaper last week alleging that the Economic Information Daily’s “false report” was “mostly subjective, imagined and based on hearsay”, seriously damaging the company’s reputation, adding that the company strongly condemned the report and reserved the right to take the necessary legal action.
The report prompted the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) to hold two meetings with representatives of Macau’s six local gaming operators and junket operator associations, warning them not to run online and phone gambling business.
On Saturday, Chau insisted that his company has never operated any online gaming platform involving financial transactions in mainland China.
Chau also said that his company had “absolutely not” undermined the nation’s financial system.
He also said that his company had always complied with the laws and regulations of Macau, and would take these as the standard for all of its products and services.
“For any products that are legally allowed to operate in other countries and regions, the company will not adopt them if the laws of Macau do not allow it and [we] will strictly adhere to the laws of Macau,” he said.
He added, “We are a Macau entity, a Macau enterprise, and as a China Macau Special Administrative Region citizen, my career is in Macau, my home is in Macau, my roots are in Macau, and my heart faces the motherland.”