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"Pop-up" casino VIP room

They are accused of fleeing millions from high rollers in what they call a fixed-card game.

Last week, police arrested a gang believed to be part of the entire network of illegally operated "pop-up" casinos VIP rooms in Macau. The investigation began in June this year after a man filed a complaint against the VIP casino room in question. He explained that his appearance in the VIP casino room unfortunately received a bribe of HK$4 million, or nearly half a million.

Police explained that the group had lured high-rolls to VIP casino rooms with "masks" to look like legitimate casino hubs and operated them . Judicial police raided a hotel in Macau , last Wednesday, and a total of 19 people (15 men and 4 women) were arrested.

Officers said the perpetrators were all Chinese residents, who led a sophisticated scheme to lure the hyroles into a VIP casino room in perfect disguise. The investigation is still ongoing because police believe those arrested are only part of a larger plan.

Officials who arrested the gang red-handed explained that the plan was perfect. All the members of the organization involved played roles like actors in the casino scenario. Some were acting as dealers, while others were reportedly security guards and VIP hosts. Macau public broadcaster TDM also reported that there were four players and potential victims playing at the time when police entered the VIP casino room.

Police also seized HK$75 million ($9.6 million) in chips and HK$200,000 ($25,600) in cash. The seized chips were probably given to punters as credit to play with by "casinos," but these could not be cashed.

Criminals will face a number of charges, including criminal deception to gain financial benefits.

This is not the first time a Chinese resident has been indicted for casino-related crimes. Earlier this month, 15 more Chinese residents were in court for illegal activities aimed at financial gain.

The incidence of casino-related crimes in Macau, a gambling mecca, has reportedly increased significantly since the government conducted a massive anti-corruption crackdown on so-called junket, which seeks to attract high profits by providing free travel to certain casinos.

Chinese authorities enforced the new rule almost three years ago to reduce illegal gambling in Macau.
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Sunday, February 11, 2024
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