Macau, China –the world’s biggest gambling hub has implemented a number of regulations to ensure that its gambling industry operates in a legal and efficient manner. The growing gambling industry has its fair share of industry-related crimes each year that the authorities try to keep an eye on.
The Public Security Police and the Judiciary Police recorded an increase in casino-related crime statistics for the first nine months of this year. Recent data revealed by Macau’s law enforcement organizations show that gambling-related crimes have increased by a double-digit percentage from January to September this year.
This information is based on crimes and criminal activities detected but stopped by the police. This suggests that the number of crimes could be higher as the authorities cannot detect all crimes right away.
There is a rather broad definition for gambling-related crimes in Macau. In most cases, when a crime committed has direct connections to the casino industry, it is considered a gambling-related crime. But in Macau, a crime only needs to happen in a casino or in the surrounding casino area for it to be labeled as a gambling-related crime.
So far, the data for 2019 shows that there were roughly 1,599 gambling-related crime cases, a jump from last year’s 19.5%. More than 261 cases were added in 2019 and it only shows that criminals have strengthened their focus on the casino industry. A number of crimes are common in the area and the most popular one for now is scamming, which mostly targets casino visitors. Casino scams made up 291 of the 1,599 cases registered this year.
Victims of casino scams are often targeted by fake money or falsified money transfers. The casinos are not safe from being scammed as well. Several criminal groups enter casinos and use fake casino chips to bet and exchange their winnings for real money. There are also incidences where an inside man collaborates with outsiders and gives them extra chips during a game.
In addition to scams, illegal money-sharking and money-changing activities are also on the rise. Because China has a strict policy on money flow, there are restrictions as to how much money can be exchanged. Chinese gamblers who want to wager more either loan money or use illegal moneychangers to fund their habit.
The Macau Judicial Police have recently increased their patrols and are keeping a close eye on Macau casinos to make sure that crime-related stats don’t increase in the final months of 2019.