Here’s a heavy story from the United States gambling news: big trouble can be ahead for Las Vegas Sands (LVS). A Reuters report claimed the Las Vegas Sands allowed a man allegedly connected to the Chinese triads transfer $100,000 from a Las Vegas casino to the final destination of a casino in Macau.
The man, Charles Heung Wah Keung, is the chairman of the China Star Entertainment in Hong Kong, a film company often making triad-themed films. Heung’s father founded the Sun Yee On triad, his older brother is believed to run the criminal organization now. Heung always denied any connections to the triads, and he was never convicted of any triad-related activities. However, a 1992 US Senate subcommittee recognized him as an “office bearer” for the Sun Yee On triad.
The sum of $100,000 was transferred on January 31, 2009, from the Venetian casino (Las Vegas) to the Sands Macau. Reuters also uncovered a list of transactions worth $40.5 million from Vegas to Macau in connection with a wrongful termination suit by a former Sands China employee.
LVS claims that this sum is a bookkeeping credit, not an actual transfer, so the court has to prove that transaction broke the American gambling laws. According to LVS, the $100K is an advance credit deposited in one jurisdiction, based on money a client has deposited in another jurisdiction.
The Reuters documents also tell about a co-operation between LVS and Macau junket operators in the United States. The role the junket operators is not clear, but some industry sources rumor Mr. Keung has “extensive relationship” with the Suncity Group junket operator, who in turn has interest in certain Macau casinos.
In connection with the LVS case, many experts point out that the stricter control measures for online gambling sites in United States could have some advantages if certain elements could be implied for land casinos.