Reported gaming sector suspected money laundering transactions fall 30pct y-on-y in Q1

The number of suspicious money laundering or terrorism financing transactions reported by gaming operators in the first quarter of this year has dropped by 30 per cent year-on-year to some 356 reports, the Financial Intelligence Office (GIF) indicated.

In total 606 suspicious transactions were reported in the first three months of this year, less 13.7 per cent than last year, with reports from the gaming sector representing almost two-thirds of the total.

The local gaming sector has been greatly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, with gross gaming results in the first quarter going down by 60 per cent year-on-year to MOP30.4 billion (US$3.8 billion).

Reports from the financial institutions and insurance companies, on the other hand, increased 11 per cent year-on-year to about 181 reports.

In October of last year, the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) announced that its report on Macau had been reviewed and approved by all members of the group, with the SAR considered to have made good progress in addressing its anti-money laundering ‘deficiencies’.

The report indicated that Macau has made good progress in ‘addressing the technical compliance deficiencies identified in its 2017 mutual evaluation report, including through drafting revised legislation and guidelines’, and has been upgraded on three Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendations.