Macau Government Says Gambling Crime & Scam Stats Have Increased In 2019
Macau, the biggest gambling hub in the world has lots of regulations in place to ensure that its gambling industry operates in an efficient and legal manner. The thriving gambling industry has its fair share of crime related incidents each year which the authorities keep a close eye on.
The Public Security Police and the Judiciary Police had recorded an increase in casino crime related stats for the first nine months of this year. Recent data released by Macau’s law enforcement agencies reveals that gambling-related crimes have climbed by a double-digit percentage from Jan to Sep 2019.
The data is based on detected crimes and criminal activities that were curtailed by the police which suggests that this number could be higher as not all crimes were detected by the authorities.
Gambling Related Crimes
Gambling-related crimes have a rather broad definition in Macau. Usually, when a crime happens that has direct attachments to the casino industry, it is defined as a gambling related crime. However in Macau, a crime only needs to happen in a casino or in the surrounding casino area to be considered a gambling related crime.
The data for 2019 so far shows that there were 1,599 gaming-related crime cases which is a jump of 19.5 percent rise from last year’s numbers. An increase of 261 more cases in 2019 shows that criminals have increased their focus on the casino industry. Several crimes are common in the area. The most popular one right now is scamming, which targets many casino visitors. Casino scams comprises 291 of the 1,599 cases and has been growing every year at a rate of 66.3 percent.
Illegal Money Exchange
People who get scammed are targets of either fake money or falsified money transfers. The casinos themselves are not above being scammed. Several criminal groups enter casinos and use fake casino chips to wager and redeem their winnings for real money. There are also times when an inside man conspires with outsiders to give them extra chips during play.
Besides scams, there has also been a rise in illegal money-sharking and money-changing activities. Since China has a strict policy on money flow, there are limits to how much money can be exchanged. Chinese gamblers who want to bet more either borrow money or use illicit money changers to fund their habit.
The Macau Judicial Police have increase their patrols in recent months and are keeping a close watch on Macau casinos to ensure that crime related stats don’t go up in the final quarter of 2019.