Macau: gaming-related crimes rise 24.4% in Q1

Macau saw only 965 gaming-related crimes in 2022.
Macau saw only 965 gaming-related crimes in 2022.

The increase is attributed to the lifting of travel restrictions and rapid growth in visitor arrivals.

Macau.- As visitors returned to Macau after the lifting of Covid-19 travel restrictions, logically crime reports have also risen. Wong Sio Chak, Macau’s secretary for Security, has reported that in the first quarter of the year, gaming-related crimes in the city rose by 24.4 per cent year-on-year to 158.

The Office of the Secretary for Security (GSS) reported a 78.4 per cent rise in the interception of people engaged in illegal money exchange, with 3,655 arrests. According to authorities, the majority were found to be members of money exchange syndicates from mainland China.

Sio Chak reported a 17 per cent increase in criminal cases to 3,006. He announced the completion and implementation of the fifth phase of the city’s public surveillance system, known as ‘Eyes in the Sky.’ The new phase incorporates an additional 1,701 surveillance cameras. Plans are underway to extend coverage to the reclaimed Zone A. 

Authorities are currently conducting internal test runs for electronic identification for border crossing, with public testing expected to follow soon. The service is scheduled to launch on June 30.

In 2022, gaming-related crimes in Macau declined by 30 per cent when compared to the previous year. The number of crimes reported fell to just 965 due to multiple Covid-19 restrictions and the resulting lack of visitors.

There were 33 cases of gambling-related usury compared to 71 in 2021 and only one gaming-related kidnapping case compared to 27 in 2021 and 32 in 2020.

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