The root cause of Gambling, corruption, prostitution, money laundering, Drug Trafficking and Human Trafficking, everyone is looking to make money. The gangs have been in existence for the last 100 years, and they continue to thrive world-wide. Governments, politicians, Bankers and powerful people are behind these sinister means of driving an illicit business for capital gains, and they can not be stopped for the greed of money and power rules the world.
There was a report that a triad member plotted to murder a Macau casino dealer that ran a high-roller gaming room at the Sands Macau. U.S.-based Las Vegas Sands dismissed the allegation. A former VIP gambling room manager at Ho’s flagship Casino Lisboa pleaded guilty to laundering $450 million from an illegal horse-betting operation through Hong Kong bank accounts. U.S. investigators are examining Macau’s so-called junket operators who paid commissions to bring high rollers to the VIP gaming rooms.
Steve Vickers, a former senior Hong Kong police official and now head of the International Risk Agency, told AP, “There are few overt displays of violence anymore. It’s largely been contained, The landscape has also changed quite considerably with new casinos and new [foreign] players. Macau is certainly not as ‘Wild West’ as it once was.” The New Jersey report, he said, is “overly simplistic and poorly researched…On the darker peripheries of the gambling business there are illegal activities such as loan sharking, prostitution and other activities…That has historically been the case in Macau and will always be the case.”
New Jersey’s gaming commission released a previously confidential report that alleged that gambling tycoon Stanley Go had links with Macau’s triads. The report noted that “numerous governmental and regulatory agencies have referenced Stanley Ho’s associations with criminal enterprises, including organized crime to operate and thrive within his casinos.”
Ho controlled Macau’s gaming sector for four decades until it was opened up to foreign competition in 2002. Ho’s Shun Rak Holdings responded to the commission report by saying, “There is no foundation in any suggestion that he is associated with organized crime or triads.” A senior police officer told AP that it is no surprise with the links in that organized crime has traditionally operated in Las Vegas and Atlantic City. The New Jersey report told Las-Vegas-based MGM Mirage to cut it’s business ties with Ho’s daughter Pansy—after deeming her “unsuitable” because of her business relationship with her father— at the risk of losing its state gaming license. MGM Mirage responded that it would sell its 50 percent stake in an Atlantic City casino-resorts so it could hold on to its Macau casino-hotel.
Triad members take many forms. In addition to being gangsters, are also respected judges, civil servants and politicians. Triad members are friendly with Communist elite but have also helped smuggle pre-democracy activists out of the country. Many gangster members call themselves Triad members even though they are not really members of Triads.
The Triads are tribal-like organizations that follow a strict Confucian code of ethics in which elders are respected. Romanticized in Asian films, the Triads have secret signs, exotic code names, and secret tattoos. Symbols are very important. A whole range of messages can be conveyed through glances and the way a cigarette is offered. The mystique that surrounds the Triads is arguably intriguing than that of the Italian Mafia.
New Triad members are initiated with elaborate rituals that can last six days and involves a highly symbolic ceremony. New candidates often begin the ritual barefoot, and wearing special clothes and perform things like salutations, special handshakes, ritual dances and Taoist and Buddhist prayers.
The Hung clan welcomes new members with thirty-six 200-year-old initiation oaths. One of them goes, “I shall not disclose the secrets of the Hung Family, not even to my parents, brothers or wife. I shall never disclose the secrets for money. I shall die by a swarm of swords if I do so.” Ratting on another Triad member is one of the worst offenses a Triad member can do. Blood letting and slitting a chicken’s throat are still use in some Triad initiation rites. One Triad ritual ends when the new recruit pledges his allegiance by shedding a few drops of blood into a cup of wine.
- MGM China makes tepid Hong Kong debut (theglobeandmail.com)
- Under The Hood: Rolling The Dice (benzinga.com)
- Special Report: The Macau Connection (reuters.com)
- Gaming Boom and Bust: A Tale of Two Cities (fool.com)