The tide turned swiftly on Friday in Suncity Group’s VIP rooms across casinos in Macau, where millions of dollars are bet on blackjack and baccarat every night. 

As the news broke that Chinese authorities had issued an arrest warrant for the company’s chief executive officer, Alvin Chau, high-rollers scurried to leave, fearing police raids on the exclusive arenas that have helped make the Chinese territory the largest gambling hub in the world.

Suncity’s gaming rooms were near-empty this past weekend, with punters not wanting to be associated with Macau’s biggest junket operator, according to people familiar with the matter who didn’t want to be identified. Chau was detained by police on Saturday. By Monday, Suncity’s stock was suspended and casino operators’ shares in the U.S. and Hong Kong were sliding.

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