Feared Chinese Gangster “Broken Tooth” in Macau Casino Industry Again

In the 1990s, Wan Kuok-koi, better known as “Broken Tooth,” was one of the most-feared Chinese gangsters. Broken Tooth was heavily involved in the Macau turf wars that took place in the 90s, before finally being convicted on charges of illegal gambling and loan sharking.

In 2012, Wan was let out of prison after serving 14 years and he vowed to not cause problems in Macau again. Interestingly enough, though, Hong Kong’s Next Media is reporting that Broken Tooth will be re-entering the Macau casino industry again.

Wan is reportedly opening a VIP room in one of the Macau casinos, although it’s unclear exactly which casino. Wan was formerly a prominent member of the 14K Triad before going to prison. But since getting out, he’s found a way on to the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), a powerful political committee that counts Melco Crown Entertainment’s Lawrence Ho as a member.

This all has peculiar timing because the Chinese government is in the midst of a crackdown on political corruption around the country, especially in the special administrative region of Macau. The idea is to clean up the world’s biggest gambling destination and make it a more appealing destination to people from all walks of life – much like Las Vegas.

However, if somebody like Wan can get a seat on a major political committee, then perhaps the corruption isn’t entirely cleaned up in Macau. Furthermore, if Broken Tooth is choosing to enter the casino industry again, it could be a sign that the crackdown is nearing its end. Assuming this isn’t the case, though, then Chinese authorities will be watching the former crime lord more closely than ever before.

As for the crackdown on Macau, it’s seen the dominant gambling destination take a huge tumble financially. In May 2015, for example, revenue fell 37% from the previous year. June numbers aren’t in yet, but Wells Fargo analyst Cameron McKnight believes that revenue could fall by as much as 40%, which would be the biggest drop yet. Despite the tumbling revenue, Macau remains firmly ahead of Vegas as the world’s most-popular gambling spot. But if high rollers from the Chinese mainland don’t start returning soon, then there’s no telling when the freefall will end.