Macau’s Secretary for Security, Wong Sio Chak (pictured), said on Tuesday that it was difficult to combat, via the use of undercover investigators, the illegal practice of the “multiplier” that purportedly occurs in Macau’s casino industry.
The multiplier was defined in the Macau government’s “mid-term” review of the local casino industry, published in May 2016, as essentially a scheme to avoid paying on some bets Macau’s effective 39-percent tax rate on casino gross gaming revenue. The review described the scam as a “VIP room operator’s secret arrangement with the client that both parties will agree to magnify by a few times – for instance 10 times – the bet on the table”. The report described the multiplier as “greatly restricting government taxation and seriously disruptive to social order”.
“Regarding the crime of multiplier, it is difficult to either discover, or to obtain evidence, or to deploy undercover investigators,” Secretary Wong said during a policy debate session in Macau’s Legislative Assembly on Tuesday.
He added: “It’s difficult to discover because there is an agreement between the two parties involved and there is no victim in the crime. It is also the case that neither party would report the crime, which [means that it is] deeply concealed.”
The Secretary made the comment after a government-appointed legislator, Davis Fong Ka Chio – also a Macau-based gaming scholar involved in the process of the mid-term review – asked about measures to counter the crime of the “multiplier”, including the possible use of undercover checks.
Secretary Wong stated: “There are two laws in Macau that allow the use of undercover investigators… Since the crime of multiplier involves a group, which may fall into the organised crime category [it may be] possible to deploy undercover investigators. However, Macau is such a small place that if a person becomes a police officer, the whole world knows… How are they going to go under cover?”
Following the release of the mid-term review, Mr Wong had said that the authorities remained “open” to the idea of using undercover investigators to combat the criminal use of the multiplier.
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Amount that each Macau casino operator paid for the circa six-month extension of their respective contract