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. In 2017, the city’s gaming operators filed 2,074 reports, which represented a 34.2-percent jump on 2016’s data.
The Financial Intelligence Office, the Macau government agency that counters money-laundering, posted data on its website saying it received 3,176 reports of suspicious transactions from all sources last year, 20.45 percent more than the year before.
The office’s Thursday statement said the increase in suspicious transaction reports, known as STRs, was due mainly to increases in filings made by institutions outside the city’s gaming sector. The number of reports made by financial institutions last year, including insurance companies, reached 1,122 reports – or 30.19 percent of the total. In 2017, the same market segment logged 746 STRs, or 24.18 percent of the total.
The office said reports from “other institutions” had also increased significantly, from 265 in 2017 to 507 reports last year. It is unclear what types of businesses this category includes.
In 2016, the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau revised its anti-money laundering rules. The new provisions from the gaming regulator tightened the reporting rules but kept the threshold set for casinos to report “large” transactions at MOP500,000 (US$62,500). The revised rules came into effect on May 13, 2016.
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Lei Wai Nong
Macau’s Secretary for Economy and Finance