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Macau police busts illegal mahjong operation

Four individuals aged between 50-60 years old were arrested for making monthly profits of up to MOP$500 (US$62.18) from their illegal operations.

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Macau police have stopped a suspected illegal mahjong operation around Av. Marginal do Lam Mau, in which four suspects have been arrested.

According to local news agencies, police authorities received a report that a shop around Av. Marginal do Lam Mau has been running illegal gambling activities. The police then proceeded to search the shop and its attic, finding gambling equipment and two mahjong tables at the location. 

Further investigations showed that the shop has operated as a mahjong stall since March. The female owner, one of the four suspects arrested, has been charging MOP$80 per table by the hour and profiting from the game. It has been estimated that profits of up to MOP$500 per month have been made by the owner and operators of the illegal activity. 

Mahjong has been a topic of recent discussion, especially when the Legislative Assembly committee found ambiguities in the clauses regarding illegal mahjong operations. The committee has requested clearer definitions when it comes to playing mahjong “so that the public does not inadvertently break the law.”

Regarding illegal gambling and crimes, Macau has seen several recent arrests, including the crackdown of a cross-border crime and illegal gambling syndicate, casino fraud and a bribery case in the gaming sector.

Recent major cases included Macau’s Court of Final Appeal’s decision to reject former junket CEO Alvin Chau’s appeal and the Court of First Instance’s decision to auction off the assets of ex-junket manager Chan Yan Hung, accused of embezzling HK$100m from L’Arc Macau in 2016.

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