The number of suspicious transaction reports – also known as STRs – filed by Macau gaming operators went up 14.1 percent year-on-year in the first quarter, according to data from the city’s Financial Intelligence Office.
Such reports rose to 413 for the three months to March 31, compared to 362 in the first quarter 2021.
During first-quarter 2022, the amount of casino gross gaming revenue generated in the Macau market went down 24.8 percent year-on-year, to MOP17.77 billion (US$2.22 billion), from MOP23.64 billion.
Gaming-related suspicious transaction reports for the first quarter this year represented 57.4 percent of the 720 financial transactions flagged in the reporting period.
The quarterly aggregate was up 10.1 percent from the same period in 2021.
“The change was mainly due to the increase in the number of STRs reported by the financial sector and the gaming sector,” said the intelligence unit.
The tally of flagged transactions from the financial institutions and insurance companies sector rose 11.2 percent year-on-year in the first quarter, to 218, from 196. The latest number represented 30.3 percent of all first-quarter suspicious transactions.
Quarterly suspicious transactions under the “other institutions” heading tallied 89, down 7.3 percent year-on-year, and were 12.3 percent of the total.
The number of suspicious transaction reports filed by Macau gaming operators for the whole of 2021 went up 9.5 percent year-on-year, to 1,330, from 1,215 instances in 2020.
The city’s casino GGR grew 43.7 percent year-on-year in 2021, to MOP86.86 billion.
In April, GGRAsia reported – citing information released by the Macau authorities – that the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering recognised the “improvement” in the role of Macau’s casino regulator, the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) regarding anti-money laundering, and combatting the financing of terrorism in the city’s casino industry.
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