Jack Lam: 8 things to know about fleeing gambling tycoon who's Duterte's next target

The Chinese gambler was accused by the Filipino authorities of bribing a lawyer involved in a crackdown on gambling

Picture for representation
Picture for representation Reuters

Gambling tycoon Jack Lam is the latest high profile person to bear the brunt of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte. President Duterte has launched a massive crackdown on drugs and gambling since he came to power in 2016 and now the influential gambling industry figure seems to be on his radar.

The Chinese origin gambler was accused by the Filipino authorities of bribing Filipino lawyer Vitaliano Aguirre II who is involved in the crackdown on online gambling in the capital city of Manila in November. Philippine police reported that around 900 out of 1200 people have been taken to the immigration detention centre in Manila after being arrested from facilities suspected of doing gambling business out of Clark Air Base, which is a Philippine Air Force base on Luzon Island.

Lim fled from Philippines to some undisclosed location. His business has also come to a halt after the casinos got shut after cases of illegal or unlicensed online gaming operations were slapped on them.

Here are top 8 things you should know about Duterte's next big target:

  • Jack Lam was born in China's southeastern province of Guangdong Province in 1961.
  • Lam was into gambling form a young age. In 1981 he began working as a sub-agent in the gambling Industry. Lam picked up skills during his gambling trips to Macau he made with his uncle.
  • Jack Lam was best in what he did. A Shanghai Business Review (SBR) report in 2015, according to the Rappler, called Lam an easygoing person who is natural with rich gamblers. He, according to the report understood gamblers' motivations and worked how they wanted him to work. He also has a good rapport with big kingpins and he used these opportunities as stepping stones to reach the top of the industry.
  • Very quickly the Chinese gambling tycoon became one of the main figures in the Macau gaming industry. Gambling in Macau has been legal since the Portuguese government legalised the activity in the 1850s and it has been the autonomous territory's biggest source of revenue thereafter.
  • In 2009, the Global Gambling Business Magazine named Jack Lam as one of the 10 most influential people in gaming, reported Rappler.
  • Lam chairs the Jimei International Entertainment Group which is one of the top casino operators in Macau beside SJM Holdings, Galaxy Entertainment and Las Vegas Sands. The website also said that in the first six months of 2016 the group earned $16.8 million from its entertainment and gambling sector alone. Jimei international also runs Fontana Hot Spring Leisure Parks on the former U.S. Clark Air Force Base, near to Manila.
  • Other than being a gambler and his gaming business he has ventured into estate development business and hotel and resort operations. Moreover, he also has securities and investments in Hong Kong, China, and the Philippines.
  • Lam, according to his official profile is the general chairperson of the Federation of Hong Kong Guangdong Community Organizations, a director of the China Overseas Friendship Association and is also the member of the Guangdong Provincial Committee of The Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

With inputs from Rappler.com