n the past few weeks, several plaintiffs have emerged who report, on websites and anonymously, that they are being prevented from withdrawing the funds they invested in the group, with 17 VIP lounges in the SAR, Lusa reports.
Suncity has subsequently denied those allegations: "There are no cases where customers are prevented from making withdrawals due to the freezing of funds," the group told Lusa.
On a website, which brings together 20 plaintiffs and who call themselves the "SunCity Customer Rights Alliance," they promise that they will take appropriate legal measures to recover up to HK$1 billion to the group which, in addition to Macau, also has VIP game rooms in the Philippines, Cambodia, South Korea and has just finished building a ‘mega-resort’ in Vietnam.
“The Group reiterates that false rumors have seriously damaged the Group’s interests and reputation. The Group strongly condemns any individuals who spread the rumors with malicious intent, and reserves all rights to take legal action against such individuals," Suncity replied.
The company also guarantees that it provides "customers with a deposit/withdrawal service for gambling chips for entertainment purposes."
Various media outlets have reported that Macau’s gambling operators have experienced a significant outflow of capital this summer, which has disrupted cash flows.
Several customers are said to have raised their funds after China began a fight against money laundering, illegal online gambling, and the outflow of capital from the country.
“The Suncity Group’s VIP business is financially sound,” the company assured Lusa, thus denying accusations of lack of cash.
Lusa questioned the Macau Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) about whether it had received complaints against Suncity and whether there was enough cash in the casinos.
DICJ only replied that it will continue to “monitor the operation of casinos and gambling intermediaries in Macau and“ closely monitor the situation to ensure the healthy development of the gambling industry.
As for money laundering, the entity responsible for gambling in the world capital of casinos told Lusa that “licensees and gambling intermediaries have been“ implementing measures in accordance with the Macau Government’s policy against money laundering ”.
In late August, Beijing announced the creation of a ‘blacklist’ of gambling tourist destinations in casinos for disrupting the “commercial order of China’s foreign tourism market” since “some foreign cities have opened casinos to attract Chinese tourists to gamble”.
For the Chinese authorities, these also "endanger the personal and property security of Chinese citizens."
China has also promised to impose “restrictive travel measures against Chinese citizens traveling to foreign and local cities”.
Since Suncity announced, in an interview with Lusa in May 2019, that it intended to apply for new gambling licenses in Macau in 2022, it has been plagued by several cases having been accused of promoting “online gambling”, “proxy bets” and even being investigated by Chinese authorities for supporting pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.
The group has always denied these accusations.
“The Suncity Group always cooperates fully with the Chinese Government and the Government of Macau to prevent Macau from becoming a money-laundering center, allowing the gaming industry to develop in a healthy way,” the company now told Lusa.
As early as July this year, the group stressed its financial strength, further denying rumors that the alleged Beijing investigation had led to a rush by customers to withdraw the deposited money.
In July, Alvin Chau stated that the Suncity VIP Club had a tax reserve of HK$10.58 billion and that total assets offset customer deposits, foreseeable losses, and bad debts.
Macau, the gambling capital of the world, is the only place in all of China where casino gambling is legal and in 2019 earned revenues of MOP292.4 billion.
This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Macau gambling companies have recorded several million euros in revenue losses due to border restrictions in the territory that in 2019 received almost 40 million visitors.