Macau recorded 164 instances of casino-related fraud in the first nine months of this year, almost equal to the tally for the same period in 2018, according to crime statistics released on Monday by the Office of the Secretary for Security.
Of the 164 scams concerning casinos, 92 involved “exchange of currencies”. In the first nine months of 2020 – when the Covid-19 pandemic caused greater disruption to the city’s tourism and casino trade, Macau recorded 60 casino-related frauds. Such crime cases tallied 291 in the first nine months of 2019, and 175 in 2018.
Illicit money exchange activities have been identified in recent years by Macau’s security bodies as a major threat to public order.
During the January to September period this year, the police identified 1,255 people from mainland China that were allegedly engaged in illicit money exchange business in the city. That was an additional 696 individuals compared to the same period in 2020.
The Office of the Secretary for Security also stated that no additional fake gaming chips had been identified since the first quarter, when the face value of such counterfeits had been HKD2 million (US$257,582). For the entire 12 months of 2020, the face value of fake chips identified had been circa HKD1.51 million.
In pre-Covid 19 times, the aggregate face value of fake gaming chips detected in full-year 2019 was HKD18.49 million, and HKD5.88 million in full-year 2018, according to the official data from the Secretary for Security’s office.
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Amount that each Macau casino operator paid for the circa six-month extension of their respective contract