Authorities Report Marked Increase in Gambling Crimes in Q1 2023 Amid Surge in Visitor Arrivals

June 9, 2023 | Gaming

MACAU, SAR (June 8, 2023) — Gambling-related crimes in Macau have surged by 24.4 per cent year-on-year to 158 in the first quarter of 2023, according to Secretary for Security Wong Sio Chak.

Macau News Agency (MNA) reported Secretary for Security Wong attributed the increase to the lifting of travel restrictions, a rapid growth in visitor arrivals, and the recovery of the gaming industry.

The Office of the Secretary for Security (GSS) reported that the police intercepted 3,655 individuals for engaging in illegal money exchange, a significant 78.4 percent increase compared to the same period last year.

Most of those caught were found to have been members of money exchange syndicates from mainland China, said GSS.

Earlier last month, a 44-year-old man from mainland China was arrested on murder and robbery charges in a high-profile case, after allegedly killing a man in a hotel room in Cotai over financial disputes.

The victim, who is also from the Chinese mainland, was active in a money exchange business.

The surge in visitor arrivals has led to more uncertain factors affecting public safety, despite the positive impact on Macau’s economic recovery, according to security authorities.

In the first quarter of 2023, a total of 3,006 criminal cases were recorded, representing an increase of over 17 per cent compared to the same period last year.

To address rising security concerns, Wong revealed that the fifth phase of the city’s public surveillance system, known as ‘Eyes in the Sky’, had been complete and put into use this year.

The city now has a total of 1,701 surveillance cameras, with preparations currently underway to extend the surveillance system to reclaimed Zone A.

In addition, the security authorities announced that internal test runs for electronic identification for border-crossing are currently underway, with plans for public testing to follow. The service is expected to launch on 30 June.

SOURCE: Macau News Agency (MNA).

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