Suspicious transaction reports filed by Macau casinos fell by 9 percent last year, the city’s Financial Intelligence Office told local public broadcaster Radio Macau.
The city’s gaming sector remained the main source for such transaction reports in 2015, accounting for 1,247 cases, or 69 percent of the total. Most of the other cases were filed by financial sector operators.
The lodging of such reports does not in itself indicate criminal activity has occurred, but does indicate that a transaction has been earmarked for closer scrutiny.
The most common types of suspicious transactions reported by Macau’s casinos included: chip conversion with minimal or no gambling activity; and chip conversion or marker redemption on behalf of third parties.
Under the rules on reporting of suspicious transactions, Macau casinos are required to report to the Financial Intelligence Office any wagering, gaming credit or gaming promotion activity that, “based on [their] nature, complexity, the amount involved or in a non-habitual manner indicates any activities of money laundering or terrorist financing”.
Casinos in Macau are also required to report to the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau high value transactions worth over MOP500,000 (US$62,292).
The Financial Intelligence Office received a total of 1,807 reports in 2015, five fewer than a year before.
The number of cases sent by the body to the Public Prosecutions Office for further investigation dropped to 125 in 2015 from 163 submitted in 2014, according to Radio Macau’s report. There were no details in the report on the number of cases submitted to the Public Prosecutions Office that led to prosecutorial action.
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”China has been strengthening the control over capital flow, and the impact of that has already been reflected [on Macau’s gaming revenue trend]. There should not be any bigger impact from the new… legislation [on the mainland] … on the gaming revenue trend here”
Wilfred Wong Ying Wai
President of Macau casino operator Sands China