There is some good news regarding the gambling market in Macau. As Wong Sio Chak, Secretary for Security in Macau revealed on Friday, gaming-related crime decreased significantly in 2022.
Compared to the previous year, the decrease is 41.6%. In 2021, 635 cases related to the gaming industry were reported, while in 2022, that number was only 371.
In 2022, there were 86 cases that included some kind of fraud, which is 56.1% less than in 2021. Also, when it comes to the cases of orders, their number decreased by 31.3% with only 44 cases in 2022. There also were 34 cases of improper appropriation, a significant 47.7% less than the previous year. With a number of 33 cases of loan sharking, their number decreased by 53.5%. The number of thefts was 26, which is 40.9% down.
Most of the people who were somehow included in the crimes were from the mainland – 272 of them. Only 147 residents of Macau were involved, and the number of those from Hong Kong is even lower- only 10 of them.
On the other hand, the victims of these gaming crimes are also from the mainland in most cases. The total number of Mainlanders who have experienced some sort of crime against them is 129. Macau locals are also affected, with 72 of them being victims. Customers from Hong Kong haven’t been hit by these crimes so much since only 10 of them were targeted.
These results haven’t surprised either authorities or the public. The police stated that it is natural since the fluctuation of visitors in Macau coincides with the results: in 2022, the COVID-19 pandemic hit the island harder, so there was a lesser number of visitors compared to 2021.
The lowest number of crimes in the last four years:
Wong said: “The SAR government launched the gambling license bidding process in September last year and announced the results in late November. Up to now, no negative impact from the gambling license bidding on public order has been found.
“According to relevant information and intelligence, no triad organizations or members related to the gambling industry were found … last year due to the introduction of new gambling laws and the downturn in the gambling industry.”
The decrease wasn’t noticed only when it came to gaming-related crimes. The number of all kinds of crimes decreased, with 9.799 cases in 2022. Compared to 2021, there was a significant decrease of 13.9%. Also, the number of crimes is lower than it has been in the last four years: in 2019, that number was 14.178; in 2020, it was 10.057, while in 2021 it was 11.376.
Wong believes it’s a significant step towards the bright future of Macau, establishing its reputation as a safe city.