The face value of fake gaming chips detected in Macau in the first quarter was greater than the face value of such fakes discovered in the whole of last year, according to Macau police.
The aggregate face value of counterfeits for the three months to March 31, was HKD2 million (US$257,582). For the entire 12 months of 2020, it was circa HKD1.51 million. That latter tally coincided with the volume of people passing through Macau’s gaming floors last year being severely curtailed amid disruption to travel linked to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The numbers were given in the latest Macau crime statistics report, released on Thursday by the Office of the Secretary for Security.
During the first quarter, Macau police identified an aggregate of 50 fraudulent gaming chips, each carrying a face value of HKD10,000, and another 15 fake gaming chips, each carrying a face value of HKD100,000.
The Secretary’s office did not identify the venues, or the number of instances, where the chips were either passed or where an attempt was made to pass them.
The office also did not provide what it termed an “assessment” of any other forms of gaming-related crime that might have been recorded by the authorities in the first quarter.
It said in a statement, such statistics were not “relevant” due to the “drastic decline” in inbound visitors due to Covid-19 related disruption.
“Despite some recovery seen recently, the [overall] gaming-related crime statistics of the first quarter 2021 were not yet relevant,” the Office of the Secretary for Security explained in a separate Thursday release.
The quarterly crime report did say there had been “49 scams” in the first quarter, related to the casino sector, with 27 of them related to money exchange activities.
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Aggregate number of licensed junkets in Macau as of January 2022