A website dedicated to call loans from gamblers fleeing their debts is giving hope to many casino owners in Macau.
The website www.99world.com, known as Wonderful World, has more than 500 cases involving a combined HK$2 billion (US$258,000) on its books, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Tuesday, citing site founder and operator Charlie Choi Kei Ian.
The website has recovered about HK$400 million in bad debts since it launched in August, adding up to a success rate of 20 percent, Choi said.
Wonderful World takes 1 percent of the recovered debt in commission, earning the operation HK$4 million in revenue so far. Choi, who also has stakes in some gaming rooms, said the business had spent the income on a dozen new hires and improving internet security, as well as operating costs.
Internet celebrity Guo Meimei was one gambler on the casino blacklist, notoriously owing gaming houses a combined HK$260 million. Guo repaid the debt last week in Macau a month after the call was put out for the debt, Choi said.
Over 90 percent of the alleged absconders are from the mainland, particularly Zhejiang province and Wenzhou. Hong Kong and Macau residents account for less than 10 percent. Almost 95 percent of the gamblers on the blacklist are wealthy enough to clear their debts but intentionally fail to repay, the report said, with some hiding their assets to avoid legal claims.
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