Fraud Suspected at L’Arc Casino

Written By Janice Doughtrey

The L’Arc Casino Hotel is the latest in a string of venues to be accused of alleged fraud from their VIP industry. L’Arc is located on the Macau peninsula and the local police force has stated that a representative of the casino recently filed a complaint that involved $12.9 million.

The complaint was received on the third of January, with information released last Tuesday from a Judiciary Polic spokesperson. They stated that investigations are ongoing and there have been no suspects arrested in this case so far. There are some media reports that speculate that the complaint is based around a senior member of the casino. This member of the staff is responsible for overseeing the VIP rooms within L’Arc Casino Hotel. This particular person has been working for the casino for over five years.

The license holder of the L’Arc property is SJM Holdings Ltd, with Angela Leong On Kei sharing part ownership of the entire property. Ms. Leong is the fourth consort of Stanley Ho Hung Sun and is the executive director and shareholder for SJM Holdings. She spoke directly with reporters regarding the fraud case at L’ARc, stating that while she is not intimately involved in the day to day operations of L’Arc, she has no doubt there will be quick results from the intensive police investigation.

Macau has been the site of numerous high-profile fraud cases in the last two years, with two previous VIP cases coming to light before this one. The fraud concerns began in April of 2014 when a junket operator name Huang Shan began to take a “dividend” each month. He stole 2.5% from junket investors in exchange for junket capitol. He then fled with a reported amount of HKD10 billion.

This case was followed by reports from Dore Entertainment Co Ltd, who reported a fraud case in September. They found that they were dealing with a case of internal fraud from a former employee who was presenting themselves as investors in cage operations at Dore. By the end of October, it was unveiled that there was as much as HKD520 million that was removed.

This latest case of fraud at L’Arc could see broad changes and a tightening of regulations in Macau. There is the belief that the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) will be involved in the solving of these issues. An analyst, Karen Tang, is certain that this incident will result in the tightening of junket regulations, especially in regard to how they raise capital.

Paulo Martins Chan, the new head of the DICJ, stated that the government will need to improve the legal framework for gaming in Macau. This will strengthen the oversight of the entire industry. Tang stated that the tighter regulations will cause the small junkets to go out of business by February, while the bigger junket operations will face redemption measures.