Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Macau casinos report 1,074 suspicious transactions in H1

The number of suspicious transactions reports (STRs) flagged by Macau casinos jumped by almost 37 percent in the first half of 2017, according to Macau’s Financial Intelligence Office (FIO).

In its latest newsletter, the FIO announced that Macau casinos reported a total of 1,074 suspicious transactions during the January to June 30, 2017 period, surpassing the 780 cases reported in the same period last year.

The FIO further noted that the gaming sector remained the leading source of such transaction reports, accounting for 70.3 percent of the STR statistics in the city state, followed by the financial institutions and insurance companies sector with 27.1 percent.

According to the government agency, casinos consider transactions to be suspicious when there is an incomplete or failure of customer due diligence (CDD), such as in cases of third-party remittance to junket promoters. A transaction is also flagged when there is failure to produce ID information or other personal information when buying or redeeming chips, and when players refuse bank remittance and third-party remittance transactions.

Macau casino operators are also required by the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau to disclose high value transactions worth over MOP500,000 (US$62,500), according to the FIO.

Of the 1,527 total cases reported in H1 2017, the FIO said that only 79 STRs were sent to the Public Prosecutions Office.

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