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Macau police arrest leading casino boss amid crackdown

Image source, Getty Images

Police in Macau have arrested a leading casino boss amid a crackdown in the world’s biggest gambling hub.

On Sunday, authorities said they had arrested two men over alleged money laundering and illegal gambling.

Macau Legend Development, which runs three casinos in the city, confirmed the arrest of its chief executive and controlling shareholder Chan Weng Lin.

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The move comes after the arrest in November of high profile Macau gambling executive Alvin Chau.

“The Board is of the view that as the Group is operated by a team of management personnel and the above incident relates to the personal affairs of Mr Chan and not related to the Group,” Macau Legend Development said in a statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

“The Board does not expect the above incident to have a material adverse impact on the daily operations of the Group,” it added.

The company runs the Landmark Macau, Babylon Casino and Legend Palace Casino in Macau.

Shares in Macau Legend Development plunged by as much as 30% in Hong Kong on Monday.

Mr Chan is also the chairman of Tak Chun Group, which organises “junkets”, or trips to casinos for wealthy gamblers.

Tak Chun did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the BBC.

In November, Alvin Chau, the chairman of Macau’s biggest junket operator Suncity, was arrested as authorities cracked down on alleged money laundering and illegal cross-border gambling.

Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, which regulates the city’s gambling industry, met with police this month with the aim of strengthening their collaboration on gambling-related crimes.

The regulator said it would pay close attention to what happens in and outside casinos, which are expected to see an increase in visitors during February’s Lunar New Year festival.

Gambling is illegal in mainland China but is allowed in Macau, which like Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China.

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