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Gaming operators are reporting more suspicious transactions than they were pre-pandemic

In the first nine months of this year alone, casinos filed more reports of suspicious transactions than they did across all of 2019, according to the official figures.

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In the first nine months of this year alone, casinos filed more reports of suspicious transactions than they did across all of 2019, according to the official figures.

ARTICLE BY

PUBLISHED

READING TIME

Less than 1 minute Minutes

UPDATED: 21 Dec 2023, 11:08 pm

Macao’s casinos filed a striking number of Suspicious Transaction Reports (STR) in the first nine months of this year: a total of 2,335. That’s a 170 percent year-on-year increase for the period, according to data released by the Financial Intelligence Office (GIF).

A sizable increase was expected due to pandemic restrictions suppressing gaming activities last year. However, the results are also significantly higher than the number of STRs that “games of fortune operators” filed across the whole of 2019 – before Covid-19 impacted gaming.

Previous annual reports published by GIF show gaming operators reported just 1,913 STRs in 2019. 

[See more: This is how much gross gaming revenue Macao generated in September]

The GIF also publishes the number of STRs filed by financial and other institutions, though these make up a relatively small percentage of the total and their numbers have not fluctuated as wildly as those of gaming operators.

In both 2022 and 2019, the most common STR was categorised as “irregular large cash withdrawals,” followed by “significant cash deposit with non-verifiable source of funds.”

Gross Gaming Revenue, meanwhile, has yet to rebound to pre-pandemic levels. 

 

UPDATED: 21 Dec 2023, 11:08 pm

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