Macau considers criminalising unauthorised money exchange in casinos

Gaming-related crimes in Macau rose 110% in H1.
Gaming-related crimes in Macau rose 110% in H1.

Money exchange is currently falls under Macau’s financial regulatory framework.

Macau.- Secretary for Security Wong Sio Chak has said that Macau is considering the criminalisation of unauthorised currency exchange in the vicinity of casinos. He revealed this during a media briefing on the crime statistics for the first half of 2023, 

Wong highlighted the detrimental impact of unauthorised money exchange on casino security and the surrounding areas, saying it often leads to other crimes, including scams, illegal detainment, assaults and even homicides.

Macau’s casinos primarily use Hong Kong dollars for betting, but a significant portion of their clientele hails from mainland China, where there are restrictions on the amount of yuan that can be brought across the border. Currently, money exchange is categorised by Macau’s Public Prosecutions Office as a private transaction falling under the city’s financial regulatory framework rather than being treated as criminal offences.

Wong said Judiciary Police were in favour of criminalisation. Alternatively, they intend to explore options for significantly increasing fines as a deterrent and imposing immigration bans on offenders.

The Office of the Secretary for Security of Macau reported that gaming-related crimes rose 110 per cent year-on-year during the first half of the year to 422 cases. That compares to 198 cases in H1 2022. Some 8,124 illicit bet-money changers were detected, an increase of 200 per cent, and 488 have been notified that they will be prohibited from entering casinos.

In this article:
Macau casinos