Suncity Trial

Side-betting system not owned by Suncity, defendant testifies

A former employee at the Suncity Group’s IT Department told the court the alleged side-betting computer system was not owned by the company.

The fourth defendant in the spotlighted lawsuit concerning Suncity Group and 21 suspects, Ma Tin Lon, testified at yesterday’s court hearing that the computer system, opsman, which could collect data on side-betting, was used by the fifth defendant, Cheong Chi Kin.

Cheong is a former employee at Suncity’s Operations Department.

The opsman system was only installed at Cheong’s request, according to Ma, as Cheong wanted to replicate Sunpeople’s reception of data from the casino cage. Sunpeople was a system owned by Suncity.

Ma emphasized Sunpeople did not involve any information related to side-betting.

Ma added that Cheong is a business partner of Alvin Chau, boss of the company. He recalled Chau had instructed him to aid Cheong on technical systems. He added that Cheong would bring customers to Suncity, but he was unaware if any side-betting practices existed.

In addition, he only became aware of the side-betting recording function of the system in 2018 and said he did not know what side-betting was when he started his employment in 2013. The IT Department, he added, aids other departments as required.

Ma said all data related to tele-betting was in the Philippines. His department had deployed teams to establish a server there when Suncity’s VIP casinos opened there.

His department only had an auxiliary role afterwards and engaged service providers to provide support when problems arose. All software and hardware were sold to another company when Suncity announced its withdrawal from tele-betting in 2019.

In previous hearings, Chau testified he suspected it was probably Cheong who had been running side-betting.

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