The often-fraught relationship between Alvin Chau, the playboy CEO of Macau’s biggest junket operator, Suncity, and Malaysian-American model Mandy Lieu is over, The Straits Times reports.
But it seems that Chau isn’t too sore about the whole thing. In fact, the split was amicable enough for him to bestow a parting gift to Lieu: a $38 million breakup fee.
The relationship has been Asian tabloid fodder since the two met in 2014. And it was often fraught for one very specific reason: Heidi Chan, aka Mrs Chau.
Lieu was apparently not content to remain Chau’s mistress throughout their five-year relationship, during which time she bore him three children. Chan was reportedly even less content with the arrangement.
Only One Mrs. Chau
But according to various reports in those Asian tabloids, Lieu ultimately realized Chau was not prepared to leave his wife and decided to make a clean break of it.
And nothing says “no hard feelings” like $38 million.
In 2015, Chan had been so irked at being one corner of a triangulated relationship that she issued an official statement:
My husband has looks, money, and education. It’s normal to see many women trying to get close to him. It is not uncommon to see men dallying with others, and in regards to [short-term] lovers, there isn’t only just one. No matter what, there is only one Mrs. Chau.”
Chau’s net worth has been estimated by Wealth-X at no less than $2 billion.
Under his stewardship, Suncity has grown from a company with a single high-stakes table at the Wynn Macau in 2007 into a multibillion-dollar conglomerate with interests in everything from property to movie production.
Suncity runs 18 VIP gaming tables in Macau, and 14 more in casinos scattered around the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, South Korea, and Australia.
In recent years the company has made the jump from junketeer to operator. It has acquired a controlling stake in the $4 billion “Hoiana” integrated resort in Vietnam, scheduled to open later this year, as well as in Russia’s first integrated resort, Tigre de Cristal.
Just last week, a new deal was announced that will see Suncity manage the gaming operations of the Westside City Resorts World, a massive integrated resorts project currently being built in the Philippines’ Entertainment City.
But questions remain about the triad origins of the junket industry and the level of influence organized crime has on the junkets.
Suncity’s operations in Australia have come under scrutiny over the past few months because of negative media reports linking Crown Resorts’ VIP rooms to criminality and money laundering.
Chau himself has been accused by Australian authorities and the Hong Kong Jockey Club of being a current or former member of the 14k triads, an accusation Suncity has denied.