Macau recorded a total of 1,553 cases of suspected gaming-related crime in the year 2015, according to data disclosed on Tuesday by the city’s Judiciary Police. The figure represented a jump of 38 percent compared to the 1,125 such cases recorded in 2014.
In 2013 – before the start of the ongoing slowdown in the city’s casino industry – there were a total of 944 casino-related suspected crime cases recorded.
The Judiciary Police label cases as gaming-related when they take place inside a casino or in its surroundings.
Gaming-related cases of suspected usury – unlawful lending of money that is more commonly known as loan-sharking – increased in 2015 by 56 percent year-on-year to 318, the police data showed.
In 2015, a total of 366 cases of gaming-related suspected unlawful detention were recorded, reflecting a jump of 463 percent year-on-year. Such cases are typically associated in Macau with loan sharking connected to gambling.
Commenting on the increase in cases of suspected gaming-related crime in Macau in 2015, the head of the Judiciary Police, Chau Wai Kuong (pictured) said – as quoted by public broadcaster Rádio Macau – the situation did not pose a security problem overall for the Macau community since such crimes were limited to casino properties and their vicinity.
The Secretary for Security, Wong Sio Chak, said last month that there was “no indication” that the slowdown in the city’s gaming industry had had any negative impact on Macau’s security, as most of the gaming-related offences did not have a direct impact on the local community.
Macau’s accumulated casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) for the full year of 2015 fell 34.3 percent compared to 2014, according to data released earlier this month by the city’s regulator, the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau. It meant consecutive years of annual GGR decline for Macau: in 2014, GGR had fallen 2.6 percent.
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