OKBet shuts down unexpectedly; shuts down all VIP rooms in the Philippines

OKBet Infinity Inc., a leading online gaming and junket operator, suspended and closed VIP rooms in the Philippines without prior notice.

Decisions made by the Board of Directors:

Here’s a statement from the company trading as OKBet VIP Club, seen by Inside Asian Gaming: “Our Board of Directors has decided to suspend all operations as of the end of business hours on August 15, 2023 and is currently making the necessary arrangements regarding guest/patron accounts. These arrangements will be completed on or before August 31, 2023.”

The Hong Kong-based company reportedly operated many VIP rooms at many IRs, including Newport World Resort in the Philippines, Okada Manila, one casino resort, NUSTAR and City of Dreams Manila, and offered proxy betting and land junket services. Furthermore, many of these properties confirmed to IAG that OKBet actually recently closed its rooms. However, IAG is aware that earlier this week, when players lined up to withdraw funds from the operator’s VIP room in Manila, there were many withdrawals. In response, OKBet said in a statement, “Our Okada office will remain open to address all inquiries. Our goal is to ensure smooth withdrawal of funds for all valued customers.”

Reasons for sudden closure:

The company did not give a reason for the unexpected closure, but the sources said the cases “related to the arrest of 10 people in Singapore this week on charges of counterfeiting, money laundering and resistance to legal restraint.”

In a related development, Singaporean police said at the time of their arrest that they were “arrested after obtaining information about possible illegal activities, including the use of suspected counterfeit documents used to demonstrate the source of funds in Singapore’s bank accounts. Through extensive investigations and follow-up of information, including a questionable transaction report (STR) analysis, police have identified a group of foreigners suspected of being involved in laundering criminal proceeds from overseas organised crime activities, including fraud and online gambling.”

None of the 10 arrested were citizens or permanent residents of Singapore, ranging in age from 31 to 44. In terms of nationality, all but one Chinese national – three from Cambodia, three from China, one from Cyprus, one from Turkiye and one from Vanuatu – were male. However, 12 are said to be helping the police investigate, and eight are still being pursued by police.

In a related development, the aforementioned statement from the Singapore Police said, “The group’s total assets, including 94 properties with an estimated value of S$815 million and 50 vehicles, are worth more than S$1 billion. Police have also seized more than 35 related bank accounts and cash, electronics and luxury items with a total estimated balance of S$110 million.” An unidentified IAG source said in a related development, “The seizure included S$23 million in cash in various currencies, more than 120 electronics, 250 designer watches and handbags, 270 jewelry, two gold bars and 11 virtual assets.”


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