Macau’s Financial Intelligence Office said it received 1,382 suspicious transaction reports – commonly known among anti-money laundering professionals as STRs – from gaming operators in the first nine months of this year, down 18.1 percent compared to 1,687 reports for the same period last year.
The proportion of such reports lodged by gaming industry operators however increased – as a component of the total reports handled by the Financial Intelligence Office – to 66.2 percent of the total so far this year, down from 54.8 percent in the first nine months of last year.
In the data released on Friday, the intelligence office said the overall number of reports it received declined by 32.2 percent year-on-year in the nine months to September 30. The number of reports of suspicious transactions the office received from all sources – including financial institutions and insurance companies – was 2,089 in the first nine months of 2019.
Macau has kept its “large-transaction” threshold for financial activity in Macau casinos at MOP500,000 (US$62,500). That is despite other updates to the city’s anti-money laundering rules, and repeated urging from the United States to bring down the threshold to US$3,000 to put Macau in line with what the U.S. says are international reporting standards.
Macau’s gaming operators filed 2,087 reports of suspicious transactions to the city’s Financial Intelligence Office last year – roughly on par with the previous year’s volume of reports.
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”China has been strengthening the control over capital flow, and the impact of that has already been reflected [on Macau’s gaming revenue trend]. There should not be any bigger impact from the new… legislation [on the mainland] … on the gaming revenue trend here”
Wilfred Wong Ying Wai
President of Macau casino operator Sands China