Tak Chun Junket Kingpin Levo Chan Arrested, Resigns as Macau Legend Development CEO

Posted on: January 31, 2022, 05:59h. 

Last updated on: February 1, 2022, 09:45h.

Macau Judiciary Police last Friday arrested Levo Chan, 49, the head of casino junket operator Tak Chun. Chan is the second boss of a major junket firm to be arrested since late November in the world’s richest casino market.

Macau junket Tak Chun VIP casino China
Tak Chun VIP junket group boss Levo Chan is seen being transported to jail in a Judiciary Police vehicle. Chan is the second head of a major junket group to be arrested in the casino capital since November. (Image: GGRAsia)

Judiciary Police did not specifically identify Chan by name, instead announcing only that a Macau resident with the surname Chan had been detained. The confirmation of the Chan individual in custody being that of Levo Chan was established through Macau Legend Development, where Chan is the CEO and largest shareholder.

Macau Legend Development over the weekend confirmed its CEO had been arrested. Macau Legend owns Fisherman’s Wharf and operates VIP junket casinos there at Legend Palace and Babylon under SJM Resorts’ gaming concession.

Police explained that Chan was apprehended on allegations of running illegal gambling activities, including the formation of a criminal syndicate and triad, and facilitation of money laundering.

Law officials said police detained Chan in the NAPE neighborhood for questioning. After allegedly refusing to cooperate, Chan was arrested and taken into custody. Police added that after booking, Chan was moved to the Correctional Services Bureau’s prison.

Junket Crackdown

Macau is expected in June to issue fresh casino licenses to the six current operators. However, the concessions will run under a new regulatory environment.

The permits will run for 10 years instead of 20, as was the case under the present rule. More critical is that junket groups as they’ve long been known in Macau are no more.

Junkets are agencies that arrange first-class travel and accommodations for high rollers residing in mainland China. Upon arrival, the wealthy travelers are loaned casino credit that typically matches the cost of their overall trip package. Such clients gamble in private VIP rooms.

The junket industry crackdown began with the November arrest of Suncity Group’s Alvin Chau, whose criminal prosecution is ongoing. Suncity has been the largest junket in Macau for the past several years. Tak Chun is another major VIP player.

Macau’s record gaming year was 2013 when the six casino operators won more than $45 billion. Enclave officials said approximately 70 percent of the revenue was generated by way of players on VIP junket trips. Following China President Xi Jinping’s initial clampdown on junkets – including more stringent operational oversight and scrutiny – gross gaming revenue tumbled 38 percent to $27.9 billion in 2016.

Chan Resigns

Just hours after his arrest, Macau Legend Development announced the resignation of Levo Chan as its CEO and co-chairman of the board.

Mr. Chan has tendered his resignation … to avoid distraction of the Company and for the interest of the shareholders of the Company as a whole,” a notice from Macau Legend Development this morning confirmed.

The firm said that Chan is leaving without any disagreement with Macau Legend, and has “no claim whatsoever against the Group, whether by way of compensation, remuneration, severance payments, expenses, or otherwise.”