Not the first time US union boss has targeted Macau casinos

In 2012, Jeff Fiedler was forced to shut down website pledging to lift lid on casinos

PUBLISHED : Friday, 16 May, 2014, 3:22am
UPDATED : Friday, 16 May, 2014, 3:22am

A short-lived US-based website that pledged to lift the lid on organised crime in Macau's casinos was the brainchild of the same Washington trade union boss who yesterday mounted a new attack on regulation and compliance in the world's richest gaming destination.

Jeff Fiedler, director of special projects and initiatives for the American trade union the International Union of Operating Engineers - which has 2,000 members employed in Nevada casinos - was forced to shut down in September 2012, just seven months after it went live.

Fiedler - a prominent figure in US Democratic Party politics and a one-time member of an influential US-China economic and security commission - closed the site amid allegations of political dirty tricks and legal threats from top gaming industry figures.

The controversial site was up against some powerful forces in the former Portuguese enclave and from day-one it received a hostile reception from official regulators, who accused it of having "questionable motives".

At the time, the Post was told that Casinoleaks received at least one "crude" legal threat from a prominent Hong Kong and Macau business figure over the content of the site. Fiedler would say only that a "lack of impact" led to its closure.

Gaming insiders suggested because the union sides with the US Democratic Party, its intent was to dig dirt on Sheldon Adelson's Sands China operation.

Adelson is a prominent and substantial contributor to the Republican Party. But the site did not exclusively focus its attention on Adelson's operations. Other theories suggested Fiedler's role on the US-China Economic and Security Commission and its perceived anti-China bias may have been a factor.

The site published publicly available documents on big and small players in Macau's murky casino junkets - the companies who bring in the big-money gamblers who provide the bulk of Macau's gaming revenue.

It also featured profiles on VIP room and junket operators and about VIP gaming in Macau.

Its closure in September 2012 came just weeks ahead of the release from prison in Macau of 14K triad boss "Broken Tooth" Wan Kuok-koi and rumours that he planned to re-enter the casino junket business where he made his name before being jailed for more than 10 years.