November 29, 2022 2 min read

Gaming-Linked Crime in Macau Continues to Drop

Macau has recorded 257 gaming-related crimes in the period through September 30, down 48.8% year-over-year. The number is far below the 502 crimes registered in the first nine months of 2021, and it comes as the Judiciary Police of Macau is amping up its efforts to suppress crime that originates from gambling operations.

However, authorities are cautious about being too optimistic. The real reason behind the lack of gaming-related crime may have to do more so with the lack of tourists than the actual efforts to fight crime, some police officials share. There have been repeated COVID-19 outbreaks which have dried up the inflow of tourists, especially the ones from mainland China.

In the meantime, the government of Macau has confirmed the six incumbent casino concessionaires will retain their licenses through an extension for another ten years. However, they would need to refocus their offers on de-gamifying Macau’s economy and invest in activities that do not have to do with gambling but tourism in general.

The police did not chalk it all up to flagging visitor numbers, though, and confirmed that authorities have been carrying out a lot more inspections at casinos and places close to casinos in the city. Authorities have been able to identify several criminal groups who operated in gambling and gaming, but police acted on time to deter the spread of crime.

A total of 25 usury cases have been recorded compared to gambling. These cases have to do with loan sharking, the practice of giving away loans at high interest to vulnerable individuals.

A total of 65 fraud cases were recorded by police authorities. There was also the case of illicit money exchange activities which led the police to intercept 2,899 people, but authorities did not specify whether the people were apprehended, issued reprimands, or charged with a specific violation.

In all likelihood, the reported numbers of gaming-related crimes will be low for 2022, and far from the full-year 1,372 gaming-related crimes recorded last year. Overall, there has been a 24.2% decline in the number of visitors to Macau in the first nine months of 2022.

Journalist

Although Fiona doesn't have a long-spanning background within the gambling industry, she is an incredibly skilled journalist who has built a strong interest in the constantly growing iGaming network. The team at GamblingNews.com is glad to have her on our roster to help deliver the best stories as soon as they hit. Aside from writing, she loves to dabble in online casino games such as slots and roulette, both for her own enjoyment and also as research to better improve her understanding of the industry.

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