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NEWS 29 June 2017

Macau suspect gaming transactions up 24% in 2016

By Josh Fisher
There were 1,546 suspicious transaction reports (STRs) relating to the gaming sector in Macau, a figure which represents a 24% increase compared to the prior-year period, according to the city’s Financial Intelligence Office.

Meanwhile, there were 2,321 STRs relating to financial dealings as a whole in Macau for 2016, a 28.4% increase from the previous year.

The gaming-related STRs accounted for approximately 66% of those submissions.

In addition, Macau’s financial sector submitted 696 suspicious transaction reports to the intelligence office during 2016, up 38.3% compared to the number in 2015. The office also received 79 STRs from other institutions that consisted mainly of merchants of high values products.

Macau’s gaming regulator last year extensively revised the anti-money laundering rules for the sector, but kept the threshold set for casinos to report “large” transactions at MOP500,000 (US$62,000). The new rules were enacted on 13 May, 2016.

However, the U.S State Department has repeatedly called for Macau to reduce the large sum transaction reporting threshold of MOP500,000 to the equivalent of US$3,000 “to bring it in line with international standards”.



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