Macau’s Public Security Bureau has identified 65 fake casino chips in Q1 2020, with a value of HK$2m ($257,644).
In total, 50 of the fake chips were worth HK$10,000 each, and 15 were valued at HK$100,000. Authorities didn’t reveal specific casinos where these chips may have been used.
The total sum of counterfeit chips for the first quarter is already higher than that for the entire year of 2020 when the authorities detected 43 counterfeits valued at HK$1.51m. GGRAsia reports that the difference in figures was likely related to the Covid-19 situation in Macau and the lack of guests visiting the casinos.
“Despite some recovery seen recently, the gaming-related crime statistics of the first quarter 2021 were not yet relevant,” said the authorities, noting that casinos are still trying to recover after extensive pandemic shutdowns and the flow of visitors into venues still hasn’t reached previous levels.
The report also mentioned authorities recorded 49 casino-related scams during the quarter, 27 of them related to money exchanges.
Macau’s casino industry is changing with the times. There are plans to introduce virtual yuan to the market, and recently, Macau’s authorities announced they will be holding a public consultation for future gaming laws in the city.
The consultation is scheduled to take place in the second half of the year, but the expected date should be no later than 15 August, so legislators would have time to prepare.
“There is not much time left and we have a lot of pending legislative work so it would be hard to give the appropriate follow up,” said legislator Song Pek Kei. Currently, there are six concession and sub-concession contracts that will expire in July 2022, and the public consultation is about the future of those licences.