Macau casino suffers seven chip scams in less than a week

By Manuel Marti
Police in Macau have said that seven separate scams involving counterfeit chips have taken place in one of the region's casino resorts within the last five days. It has been reported that since July 19 the affected venue accounted for a total loss of HKD600k (US$76,849).

In a post-event media briefing, Judiciary Police stressed the poor quality of the chips and did not discount any connection between the different events. Although authorities didn’t confirm the exact location, it is believed by the public broadcaster TDM that the scams happened at Galaxy Macau.

The latest episode happened on Saturday, when two suspects were detained for possession and distribution of counterfeit casino chips. Last weekend’s incident involved two male mainland Chinese residents who were accused of allegedly passing or attempting to pass off fake chips at baccarat tables.

According to the local press, each suspect had a total of 100 fake chips in their possession, with each chip holding a value of HKD10,000. Within a two-hour period, before being detained by casino security, suspects were able to make HKD350k worth of genuine chips.

It seems that Saturday’s events are part of greater and more sophisticated scam after the two suspects said they had been promised an additional HKD150k as reward. Later on, Macau’s authorities confirmed that over ten people were associated with the incident.

The Judiciary Police, responsible for crime prevention at Macau’s casinos, raised concerns about a recent increase in gaming-related crimes.

According to an official statement, a total of 734 suspected crimes were recorded in the first five months of 2017; including a 11% rise in illegal detentions related to loan-shark operations. “Although the performance of Macau’s gaming industry has stabilised since the second half of last year, the gaming-related crime situation remains serious.” said the Director of Judiciary Police Chau Wai Kuong.
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