30 08 2014
Do Chinese Gambling Whales Have A Hold On OZ Casinos?
While the Australian casino industry is booming with turnover of billions every year, there is growing fear that it is being taken over by junket operators and organized gangs from China. The massive amount of dollars that gamblers from China are betting on Australian roulette and blackjack tables has made them casino celebrities. In gambling circles, these large gamblers willing to win or lose millions of dollars within a day or night are referred to as “whales.” These famous men and women are welcomed in all famous casinos where the hosts and junket operators give them all facilities and treat them like celebrities.
Whales likely connected to mobster gangs
Though these big ticket players are invited with open arms due to their ability to spend large amounts, they are feared because they are generally backed by organized crime gangs who use them to launder black money. Macau, the hotspot for casino winners/losers flocking on a daily basis to try their luck, has a turnover of nearly $1 trillion every year, most of which is wagered within confidential VIP lounges. It has been revealed that the large amount bets placed by these players is funded by mobster gangs which get nasty when these debtors are unable to pay them, and attempt to cause physical harm.
Keeping track of gambling violations
The vast diversity of gambling regulations between states and their territories make it difficult for regulation agencies to keep track of violations by Australian casinos. Chinese junket operators take the advantage of Macau’s rule that only $3000 worth of hard currency can be taken into any gambling area by giving loans to gamblers who play for big stakes. Macau, which was once a sleepy Portuguese colony, has transformed itself into a gambling haunt for big spenders to rival Las Vegas. Two of the largest names in Australian casino industry, namely Crown and Echo, are attracting these big gamblers by offering them private jets to fly around.