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Dow Jones Newswires: Shares of casino operator Macau Legend dive following arrest of CEO

Macau Legend Development’s 1680, -19.30% share fell as much 30% after Macau media reports of the arrest of its chief executive officer over the weekend, on suspicion of money laundering and illegal gambling including the operation of online casinos.

Police said the arrest of the hotel and casino operator’s chief executive Chan Weng Lin was directly linked to the arrest of Suncity chief executive Alvin Chau, who was detained in November on suspicion of operating an illegal gambling syndicate and money laundering, local media reported.

Macau Legend said Sunday that the arrest of its chief executive “relates to the personal affairs of Mr. Chan,” and that it expects its operations to continue normally.

Chan, who is also the chairman of Tak Chun Group, a VIP gaming operator in Macau, couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Citigroup said in a research note that the arrest should have limited impact on shares of Macau’s major casino operators, as investors already have “virtually zero expectations” for the city’s VIP gaming business. VIP gaming has been on the decline in Macau as the Chinese government has been tightening regulations on the sector.

The U.S. bank added that it expects Macau’s mass gaming revenue to continue to recover and that will helped by the easing of restrictions on travel between Hong Kong and Macau.

Among major casino shares, Wynn Macau 1128, +0.29% fell 1.3% and Galaxy Entertainment 27, -2.19% shed 1.6% in mid-morning trade Monday.

Shares of Macau Legend were last 21% lower at HK$0.45.

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