Gaming-related crime in Macau down 30 percent by 2022: police
Macau recorded 965 “gambling-related” crimes in the full year 2022, a 29.7 percent decrease from the 1,372 identified in the previous year, according to the latest statistics released Tuesday by the city’s judicial police.
Authorities recorded a total of 33 cases of extortionate — that is, extortionate — related to gambling, down 53.5 percent year-on-year from 71 such cases a year earlier. In 2022, the police handled only one case of wrongful detention, compared to 27 such cases in 2021.
In the full year 2022, a total of 86 gaming-related frauds were recorded, down 56.1 percent year-over-year, the data shows.
Authorities said the decline in gaming-related crimes was mainly due to a decline in tourism volume in 2022. The government had said such contraction was linked to a number of Covid-19 outbreaks and associated travel restrictions in neighboring regions and in Macau.
In the crime statistics update, police said the decrease in gambling-related crimes during the period was also “a result of the strengthening of the number of inspections conducted by police” at the city’s casinos and places adjacent to those locations.
Police also commented on illegal currency exchange activities related to the gambling industry. It said it had “intercepted” 3,500 people linked to those activities in the year to December 31.
In the full year of 2022, the city’s judicial police recorded a total of 8,612 crimes, a decrease of 10.1 percent from the previous year.
On Tuesday, authorities warned of a possible rise in crime in Macau this year as the city’s economy recovers. It said online crimes have shown an overall upward trend, with police saying they would closely monitor the current security situation.
In mid-January, authorities also said that casino Money exchange scams posed a risk this year as Macau recovers. The judicial police suggested working with the casinos’ security and surveillance departments for a “targeted” approach to combat illegal currency exchange activities.