The brand Wynn Macau, the Wynn Resorts operating arm for three integrated casino resorts in the Chinese Special Administrative Region, was allegedly used to lure people to invest in an illegal online casino business.
The China News Service confirmed this week that potential investors had been marketed on a scam marketing of a new online casino company. The criminal organisation used Wynn Macau to lure more than 200 victims to make investments from the Wynn Resorts subsidiary into what they believed were online gaming companies.
GGRAsia, the online gaming agency concentrating on Asian markets, approached Wynn Macau. “We are highly concerned by this recently reported incident and we have been liaising with the Macau Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau accordingly,” Wynn Macau said in a statement.
The company further explained, “Wynn Macau does not engage in any online investment or gaming sites. We encourage the public to be extremely wary of any sites claiming to have a connection with Wynn.”
The scheme allegedly has taken $8 million from investors.
The specifics of the suspected proposals for criminal enterprise were slim. No information was released about where the investors were based.
Gambling is banned in all parts of China other than Macau. The People’s Republic’s sole means of continental legal gambling is through its state-run lottery.
Gambling online is also illegal in China, and has generated much controversy in recent months over the Philippines. Known as POGOs, Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators have built the country’s internet gambling hubs that target players in China to a large extent.
POGO firms have enticed Chinese nationals to work with offers of good pay in online casino businesses. POGO’s need such people to communicate in their native Mandarin language with Chinese gamblers.
President Xi Jinping of China and President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines met in late October where they discussed online gambling sites. Duterte said a week later that after he “decided we need it to benefit the interest of my country,” POGOs would be allowed to continue.
Wynn Macau owns and operates Wynn Macau, Wynn Macau’s Encore, and Cotai Strip’s Wynn Palace. The area is now littered with luxury five-star casino resorts which collectively cost tens of billions of dollars to construct.
GGRAsia says, “There have been frequent attempts by criminals inside and outside mainland China to make illegal use of Macau casino operators’ branding or protected marks via online gambling services offering casino-style games and targeting Chinese customers.”
The other licenced Macau casino operators, along with Wynn, are MGM Resorts, Las Vegas Sands, Melco Resorts, Galaxy Entertainment and SJM Holdings.
Even in Macau online gambling is extremely limited. No casinos operate over the internet but on certain websites parimutual horse wagering and sports betting can be accessed.
One such example is the Macau Jockey Club, which offers wagering online through their official website.