The Financial Intelligence Bureau (GIF) reports that in the first nine months of 2023, the number of suspicious transactions detected in Macau casinos increased by 170% over the same period the previous year.
By the end of September, 2,335 reports about possible money laundering or terrorist funding transactions had been turned in by Macau’s six casino concessionaires.
In contrast, the GIF received 866 reports at the same time in 2022. The main cause of the overall 89.5% increase in the total number of suspicious transactions is the notable spike in reports of suspicious transactions from the gaming industry.
The GIF received 3,178 reports in the first three quarters of this year, of which 73.5% were from casino concessionaires, 19.4% from banks and insurance providers, and 7.1% from other organizations. Pawnshops, jewelers, real estate brokers, and auction houses are among the industries that must notify the authorities of every transaction that exceeds MOP500,000 ($62,045).
According to Macau’s regulations, any operation—regardless of the amount involved—that exhibits signs of money laundering or terrorist financing must be reported to the GIF within two working days of discovery. This requirement is based on factors like nature, complexity, amounts involved, and the activity’s unusualness.
Before, according to the GIF, Macau was the only member of the Asia-Pacific Group Against Money Laundering to completely adhere to all 40 international norms meant to stop the spread of WMDs, money laundering, and terrorism funding.
Since the pandemic restrictions were loosened, Macau’s gaming income has significantly recovered. From January to September, revenue quadrupled annually to reach MOP128.9 billion ($15.9 billion).
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Original story by: Asia Gaming Brief
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