Macau recorded 1,372 “gaming-related” crimes during 2021, up 23.2 percent on the 1,114 identified in 2020, according to the latest statistics published on Thursday by the city’s Judiciary Police.
The authorities said a surge in tourist volume during calendar-year 2021 was a factor in the increase of gaming-related crimes.
Macau saw a 30.7-percent year-on-year increase in visitor arrivals for 2021, with the full-year inbound-tourist tally at nearly 7.71 million, according to official data by the city’s Statistics and Census Service.
The Judiciary Police said that despite the overall increase in terms of the number of gaming-related crimes, two specific types of serious crime “had decreased”.
The Judiciary Police recorded last year a total of 71 usury cases – i.e., loan sharking – related to gambling, compared to 72 such cases in 2020, according to the data. During 2021, the police handled 27 unlawful-detention cases that involved usury activities, as compared to 32 such cases in 2020.
“This demonstrates that the specific plan for combatting crimes related to loan sharking for gambling have produced the expected effect,” said the police. But, they added, “the illegal activities of money exchange continue to negatively impact casinos and security in their surroundings.”
In 2021, the city’s Judiciary Police recorded an aggregate of 9,583 crimes, up 3.14 percent from the previous year.
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