Dore Entertainment investors have made another effort to draw public attention, urging the Macau government to address the theft case.
In a press conference, attendees along with Macau lawmaker Pereira Coutinho has estimated about 70 investor’s deposits amounting to approximately HKD700 million have been compromised during Dore’s theft.
“The background of the investors is diverse. Some of them are housewives, others are engineers, architects, others work in casinos,” said Coutinho. “Some signed a contract with a certain VIP room, others made bank transfers and only have the proof of the transfer, others paid in cash and received a receipt from a VIP room.”
Coutinho blamed the incomplete gaming regulations and for not explicitly defining the legal identities of those involved, stressing that the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) cannot turn its back on the case as it is the one that grant licenses to casino operators.
A casino veteran told South China Morning Post that “the number of VIP rooms is shrinking and revenues are dropping like a stone, something has to give because without the huge cash-flows they have become used to, the junket operators will not be able to meet their commitments to the casinos and somebody is going to have to pay, adding “to describe Macau junket rooms as a clearing house for funds going to and from other jurisdictions is going to hugely embarrass the Macau government and will likely invite scrutiny from global watchdogs.”
“Actually, the bureau knows whether or not the VIP rooms could conduct such a business as the authorities know their accounts while calculating the [gaming] tax,” Coutinho told the journalists. “[The officials] know the sources of their incomes. People trusted this junket operator because it operates under Wynn, which is supervised by the government.”
The DICJ issued a statement Friday clarifying that only preauthorized credit institutions are allowed to run businesses involving public savings and funding. The bureau also said that the existing law only recognized shareholders and executives whose engagement in the junket business has been approved through a scrutiny.
Coutinho appealed the Basic Law, the legal protection of rights and freedoms of citizens, could extend to this particular episode, calling on the government to contact the investors involved in the theft to offer assistance.