March 6, 2023 2 min read


Macau Sees Dip in Gambling-Related Crime in 2022

Macau’s crime rates linked to forms of gambling continued to fall in 2022, partly because of lower visitor numbers to the special administrative region (SAR)

In an address last week, Wong Sio Chak who serves as the SAR’s secretary of security, provided new numbers on crime in Macau and explained that the illegal activities specifically linked to gambling fell significantly in 2022.

Gambling Crime Subsides in 2022 as Tourist Numbers Fall

Overall, 371 cases were registered in 2022, down from the 635 cases reported in 2021, a decline of 41.6%. Macau was able to breakdown each of the cases and categorize them based on the offense committed, including 86 cases of fraud (a decline of 56.1%), 44 cases of orders (down 31.3%), 33 cases of loan sharking (down 53.5%), 26 cases of theft (down 40.9%), and not least, 34 cases of improper appropriation (47.7%).

The people involved in the crime hailed from either China itself or its SARs. The people responsible for gambling crime from the mainland were 272 and those hailing from Macau were another 147. Only 10 people of the offenders came from Hong Kong.

Macau was also able to pinpoint the number of victims, putting people who suffered from gambling-related crime at 129 from the mainland itself, 72 from Macau and 10 from Hong Kong. The steady decline in the numbers of gambling-related offenses and crime is not at all surprising, given the culling of the junket industry, but also – the significantly lower visitation numbers to Macau over the past months due to the COVID-19 lockdown, prompting many former gambling industry employees to feel the economic pinch.

Crime Declines as Economy Poised to Pick up Again

Wong explained that the renewal of licenses in SAR had not impacted crime negatively, and Macau had, in fact, succeeded at keeping triads and other organized criminal gangs at bay, with no signs of their activity in Macau. Gambling-related crime still makes up a significant number of the overall level of crime in the SAR, with a total of 9,799 crime cases reported in 2022, still, a 13.9% decline compared to 2021’s numbers.

Macau’s crime rates come at a time when the SAR is expecting to continue with a strong recovery over the coming months. The SAR has dismissed some of the more conservative estimates about its recovery over the coming months and said that it was confident in pursuing $16 billion (MOP130 billion) in gross gaming revenue by the end of 2023.


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 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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