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Vietnamese court sentences two ex-police generals for gambling

Niji Narayan

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Vietnamese court sentences two ex-police generals for gambling
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A court in northern Vietnam on Friday has sentences two former police generals to jail term for protecting a multimillion-dollar illegal online gambling ring.

Former national police chief Phan Van Vinh and former head of hi-tech crimes police department Nguyen Thanh Hoa have been slapped with imprisonment for nine and ten years, respectively by the People’s Court in Phu Tho province.

Two gambling ring leaders, Nguyen Van Duong, former chairman of the private company CNC, and Phan San Nam, former chairman of VTC Online joint stock company, were also sentenced to 10 and 5 years, respectively.

The ring had functioned from April 2015 till August 2017. The ring allegedly made $200 million in illegal profits, according to the government.

“Vinh’s acts have caused discontent among the public, reduced the reputation of the police force and people’s trust,” state-run Tuoi Tre newspaper quoted the verdict as saying. “Vinh had intentionally covered up the crimes committed by Duong and his accomplices.”

Vinh, who was general director of the General Department of Police under the Ministry of Public Security until his retirement two years ago, was arrested in July while Hoa was arrested a month earlier. Following their arrests, the ministry stripped both men of their ranks.

The two allowed CNC company to rent an office from the General Department of Police, which indirectly facilitated the crimes and hindered their staff and other agencies in investigating the gambling ring, the verdict said.

During the hearing, prosecutors quoted Duong as telling police investigators that he bribed Vinh with $2.8 million, a $7,000 Rolex watch and gave Hoa $936,000, state media reported.

Asia

Study Confirms High Rollers Gambled in Macau Despite COVID-19

Niji Narayan

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Study Confirms High Rollers Gambled in Macau Despite COVID-19
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A new study released by the Macau Research Centre has found that 60% of those who visited Macau during the COVID-19 pandemic did so for gambling, with each willing to spend around MOP$87,000 on average.

The research centre surveyed 103 visitors between March and May, of which 93.2% were from mainland China. With the threat of a 14-day quarantine upon leaving Macau, research showed those mainlanders chose to stay longer, with an average stay of 6.7 days. Around 59% stayed for more than five days.

The study also found that 59% of those surveyed visited Macau for gaming, while 87% had conducted gaming activities. Their gaming budget ranged from MOP$1,000 to MOP$500,000, with an average of MOP$87,000.

“Compared to the mass market, the spending decisions of this group of high-end customers may be less influenced by macroeconomic and social sentiment,” the study said.

Moreover, the visitors spent another MOP$45,549 during their visits on average, mostly on dining, shopping and hospitality.

The study also found the arrivals had visited Macau an average of 5.8 times in the last 12 months, while 83% of them had visited Macau at least three times in the last 12 months.

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Asia

Macau Gambling King Stanley Ho Dies at 98

Niji Narayan

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Macau Gambling King Stanley Ho Dies at 98
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Macau casino king Stanley Ho has died on Tuesday (May 26) at the age of 98. He was known as the godfather of Macau casinos and was instrumental in turning Macau into a gambling boomtown.

The flamboyant tycoon, who loved to dance but advised his nearest and dearest to shun gambling, headed one of the world’s most lucrative gaming businesses through his flagship firm, SJM Holdings Ltd, valued at about US$6 billion.

Ho spearheaded what is known in Macau as the junket VIP system, whereby middlemen act on behalf of casinos by extending credit to gamblers and taking responsibility for collecting debts.

Some of Ho’s children have become successful gaming operators in their own right. Daughter Pansy is the co-chairperson of MGM Resorts’ Macau unit while son Lawrence runs Melco Resorts & Entertainment.

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Asia

Asia Pioneer Entertainment Terminates Two Lease Agreements

Niji Narayan

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Asia Pioneer Entertainment Terminates Two Lease Agreements
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Asia Pioneer Entertainment (APE), the Macau-based slot machine agent, has terminated two finance lease agreements for the leasing of electronic gaming equipment (EGE). The agreements were terminated after Siam Star Leisure and GLIMEX failed to pay lease rental of around HK$17 million and HK$9 million, respectively.

APE said the group is now expected to write off the HK$26 million finance lease receivables from its 1H20 accounts and has demanded the return of the leased equipment.

Under the terms of the lease agreements, both signed in December 2018, APE has the right to terminate “without the need for any notice or demand” if the lessees fail to make any payment for equipment rental by the due date.

“The Company intends to identify new lessees for the EGE in Macau or other Southeast Asian countries,” APE said.

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