Macau police against illicit currency exchange activities in casinos

Macau recorded 1,177 suspicious gaming transactions in 2022.
Macau recorded 1,177 suspicious gaming transactions in 2022.

The Macau Judicial Police called casino operators to work together against illicit currency exchange activities.

Macau.- The Macau Judicial Police has proposed casino operators cooperate to crack down on illegal currency exchanges, a recurring problem in or around the city’s gaming establishments.

Bets in Macau casinos are mostly denominated in Hong Kong dollars, but many venues have customers from mainland China, which imposes controls on the amount of China’s currency that can be taken out of the country on each trip.

Illegal money changers have not only boasted better exchange rates than official rates in the past but have also offered to handle unauthorized cross-border transactions, according to earlier statements by Macau authorities. 

According to previous comments by Macau authorities, they sometimes try to supply unsuspecting tourists with worthless counterfeit currency, or so-called “banknotes”.

The Judiciary Police have already been in talks with the security or casino operations departments of Sands China Ltd, SJM Resorts Ltd, and Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd.

In addition to causing “huge economic losses”, such prohibited activities were also associated with “serious” crimes, including robberies and murders, according to the police.

Macau’s Financial Intelligence Office has recently reported that the number of Suspicious Transaction Report (STRs) filed by casino operators fell by 11.5 per cent year-on-year to 1,177 in full-year 2022.

The total number of suspicious transactions fell from 2,435 to 2,199 with 53.5 per cent of reports coming from gaming operators. The figure represented a reduction of 9.7 per cent compared to 2021

In 2020, the gaming industry filed 1,215 STRs in Macau, accounting for 54.6 per cent of reports.

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