Macau-based gambling tycoon Jack Lam has fled the country five days before President Rodrigo Duterte ordered Philippine National Police Chief Bato Dela Rosa to arrest the owner of Fontana Casino and Leisure Park for hiring thousands of illegal Chinese aliens, operating an online gaming business without a license, and attempting to bribe Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II.
The Bureau of Immigration reported that Jack Lam, or Lam Yin Lok, left the country on 29 Nov. 2016. Duterte ordered his arrest on Dec. 3 although no formal charges has been filed against Lam. Dela Rosa said the President was furious at Lam for the bribery attempt and violation the country’s labor laws and gaming rules.
Five days earlier, on Nov. 24, the BI and the PNP conducted a raid on Fontana and arrested 1,316 Chinese workers at Lam’s online casino without any work permit.
Lam and his representative, Wally Sombero, met with Aguirre at a hotel in Bonifacio Global City, where the Justice Secretary claimed he was offered to be Lam’s “ninong” or protector of the biggest online gaming business in the country.
Lam’s lawyer, Raymond Fortun, claims that he does not know where his client is hiding.
Aguirre, who claimed that he would have been richer by at least P100 million a month had he agreed to be Lam’s protector, also accused Lam of trying to bribe Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) Chair Andrea Domingo by offering her one percent cut of his monthly revenues as long as the casino monopoly does not insist on demanding a 10 percent cut from his casino earnings. Fontana only pays 1 percent of total revenues to Pagcor compared to 10 percent paid by other private casinos.
Lam is the head of Jimei Entertainment whose shares are traded on the Hong Kong stock exchange. He has junket operations in Macau and Las Vegas. Aside from Fontana, Lam is also a partner of jueteng lord Atong Ang’s junket operations in the City of Dreams casino.