The number of suspicious transaction reports (STRs) filed by Macau gaming operators during 2017 to the city’s Financial Intelligence Office rose 34.2 percent year-on-year.
The citywide tally for STRs in 2017 stood at 3,085, a 32.9 percent rise on the 2,321 filed in 2016.
A document filed on the Financial Intelligence Office’s website, said that the 2,074 STRs from gaming operators for the 12 months to December 31 accounted for 67.2 percent of all STRs made city-wide in the period. The 1,546 gaming-related reports made in 2016 accounted for a similar percentage of all reports.
A further 746 STRs were filed in 2017 by financial institutions and insurance companies – 24.2 percent of the annual total. There were also 265 by “other” institutions – 8.6 percent of the annual total – much higher than the 3.4 percent contributed by that segment in 2016.
A total of 135 STRs of all stripes were sent to the city’s Public Prosecutions Office in 2017. The Financial Intelligence Office did not give a breakdown of how many of those – if any – related to the gaming sector.
The release from that body said the “significant growth” in 2017 of the number of STRs received from both the financial and gaming sectors as well as the other institutions was due to “the continuous and increasing anti-money laundering/combatting financing of terrorism outreach programmes carried out by the Financial Intelligence Office, which increase the awareness and vigilance of different sectors”.
In the first half of 2017, STRs from Macau gaming operators had risen 37.7 percent year-on-year, the Financial Intelligence Office had said in a December bulletin.
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“The key focus is digging ourselves, together with the other five operators, out of hole that Macau has been in for the last three years”
Lawrence Ho Yau Lung
Chairman of casino operator Melco Resorts