The number of suspicious transaction reports (STRs) made by Macau casino operators to the city’s authorities fell by 32.3 percent year-on-year in the first nine months of this year. That is according to data issued by Macau’s Financial Intelligence Office.
There were 936 such reports – representing 56.3 percent of all transactions flagged in the city between January 1 and September 30 – versus 1,382 notifications made by the gaming firms in the same period a year earlier.
Macau casino gross gaming revenue fell by 82.5 percent in the first nine months of this year, as the demand in the city’s casino industry has been severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The city’s casinos are required to report to the local government any transaction of MOP500,000 (US$62,600) or above, although that does not mean that such a transaction will be flagged as suspicious.
The total number of STRs received by the Financial Intelligence Office during the first three quarters of 2020 was 1,663, a reduction of 20.4 percent compared to the same period in 2019.
The change “was mainly due to the decrease in the number of STRs reported by the financial sector and the gaming sector,” said the authorities.
Financial institutions and insurance companies flagged 495 suspect transactions – representing 29.8 percent of all STRs in the opening nine months of 2020 – versus 640 in the same time frame in 2019. The year-on-year change in that sector was a decline of 22.7 percent.
“Other institutions” saw 232 STRs from January to September inclusive, or 13.9 percent of the total, versus only 67 in the prior-year period. The latest tally represented a year-on-year rise of 71.1 percent.
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