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This week the Macau Financial Intelligence Office reported a large number of suspicious transaction reports from the island's casinos in the first half of 2017, up 37% from last year.
The revelation was made in the FIO's newsletter, noting that the 1,074 cases were up substantially from the 780 transactions reported in the first half of 2016. The gambling sector accounts for 70.3% of all suspicious financial reports in Macau, with banks and insurance companies making up 27.1%.
Gambling transactions in Macau are deemed suspicious when there's a lack of customer due diligence due to a lack of ID when redeeming chips, or when payouts are made to junket promoters. Under the law, casinos have to disclose any transactions worth more than MOP 500,000. Despite this, only 79 of the suspicious transactions were referred to the Public Prosecutions Office to be prosecuted.
Many wealthy Chinese punters head to Macau for fun playing baccarat, making it the largest gambling destination in the world. Needless to say, the government is keen to see where the VIP players are doing with the money they wager and win with.