Macau: 49 scams in the gaming sector in Q1

The value of fake chips deteched in Q1 was HKD2m (US$257,582).
The value of fake chips deteched in Q1 was HKD2m (US$257,582).

Police have reported that the face value of fake gaming chips in the first quarter of the year was higher than the entire face value of chips detected in 2020.

Macau.- Authorities have released Macau’s crime statistics report for the first quarter of the year, reporting 49 scams related to the gaming sector. Of those, 27 were related to money exchange activities.

Police also reported a rise in the value of fake gaming chips detected, from HKD1.51m last year, to nearly HKD2m (US$257,582) in the first quarter of 2021 alone.

The low volume of fake gaming chips recorded in 2020 was due to temporary closures and travel resrictions caused by Covid-19 pandemic.

During the first quarter of 2021, police detected 50 fraudulent gaming chips in the gaming sector with a face value of HKD10,000 and 15 fake gaming chips with a face value of HKD100,000.

Macau police did not identify the venues where the chips were used or attempted to be used. 

In May, the Macau government confirmed that Adriano Marques Ho will continue as Director of Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) for two more years.

Marques Ho has responsibility for investigating and penalising any administrative infractions according to the appropriate legislation.

Ho will also analyse Macau’s gaming licence criteria and gaming laws as Macau’s current casino licences are due to expire in June 2022.

Macau legislators want an assessment of current gaming licensees

Legislator Ella Lei Cheng I has said that legislators are suggesting the government conduct an assessment on how Macau’s gaming sector companies have exercised their contracts.

According to local media, government officials listened to legislators’ suggestions on changes to the licence criteria to include requirements for operators to invest in the diversification of Macau’s economy.

In April, a report entitled “The case of Covid-19 and Macao’s destination- and gambling-dependent economy”, argued that Macau should turn to online gambling and technology to help its recovery from the pandemic.

The CEO of Macau gaming operator SJM Holdings has suggested Macau should extend the existing six gaming concessions for at least one year.

According to Shu Fai, the move would give Macau’s gaming operators time to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic and the city time to better decide what changes to make to licence criteria.

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