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Macau Judiciary Police cracks down on illegal casinos

Fri, Nov 23, 11:31am by Staff Writer

The Macau Judiciary Police recently announced that they have looked to block 237 illegal online gambling websites as they continue their crackdown on illegal iGaming operators.

Macau is the biggest gambling hub in the world and has faced an increase in illegal online gambling in recent months, which eats into the profits of licensed operators.

Macau’s Secretary for Security Wong Sio Chak announced that the Macau government has already seen 130 of the sites blocked and removed.

Police have analysed and investigated all of these sites and determined that they needed to be blocked or removed completely according to Chak.

One of the major concerns with illegal iGaming operators was that these illegal websites pirated licensed Macau casino brands, causing concern among the industry that bad reputation was being sullied by these pirated sites.

Authorities in mainland China recently shut down an online gambling ring that pirated several Macau brands.

It was a family-run operation that handled US$73 million in funds, operating using the Grand Lisboa and Venetian brands that have a major presence in Macau.

The Wynn Macau gave a warning in September that a number of fraudulent online platforms were illegally using its trademarks.

The subject has been on the radar of Macau authorities since 2015, with The Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau issuing warnings on the subject for more than four years.

Collecting financial compensation from the perpetrators of the illicit activity has proven nearly impossible, according to Vegas Slots Online.

No online gambling activities have been made legal in Macau, with a spike also noted in the use of loan sharks.

Police have been cracking down on the use of illegal loan sharks, with the frequency of loan shark cases rising almost 25 per cent between January and September this year.

Authorities arrested 63 suspects in connection to the case, with 16 being caught after returning to Macau.

Agents in China were tasked with the job of promoting the website in order to attract players and handle wagers made by local players.

Illegal gambling syndicates weer already reported to be using WeChat to promote illegal operations based out of Macau and the Philippines.

Macau profits go from strength to strength

Despite issues with illegal online platforms, casinos in Macau have gone from strength to strength in recent times, as it remains one of the most popular gambling destinations in the world.

The month of October saw record highs not noted since 2014, with gross gaming revenues worth almost US$3.38 billion.

This is the highest monthly performance since October 2014 when US$3.46 billion was recorded.

To date in 2018, gross gaming revenues sit at US$31 billion, which is a 14.3 per cent increase on the same period in 2017 and the highest figure of its kind since 2014.

October is a good month generally for Macau casinos, with revenues increasing year-on-year for 27 consecutive years.

A 34-mile long bridge costing US$20 billion that connects Macau to Hong Kong is likely to boost visitor numbers even further.

It is the longest sea bridge in the world and was officially opened in late October, with an increase in visitors expected in figures from November onwards.

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