Macau saw a near-30 percent drop in the number of gaming-related crimes in 2022, totaling just 965, as entry restrictions limited the flow of punters into the territory.
In total, the cases of loan sharking fell by more than half, with only 33 cases registered during the whole year, compared to 71 in 2021 and 72 in 2020.
Gaming-related kidnapping cases saw the largest drop, with only one officially registered by the police, compared to 27 registered in 2021 and 32 in 2020.
Despite the authorities claiming that serious crimes were near-zero, one homicide case was registered during the year, involving two women who were strangled in a hotel room in MGM Cotai in May. The perpetrator was later caught by mainland Chinese authorities.
While most values were favorable on a yearly comparison, crimes of association with criminal groups increased to 27, from 21 the previous year, and those associated with secret criminal organizations also increased, from zero in the previous year to three in 2022.
Authorities also registered one case of human trafficking, the same number as seen in 2021.
Gaming-related cases of theft dropped by more than half, totaling just 86 during the period, compared to 196 in the previous year and 108 in 2020, however theft cases related to online gaming were nil.
Macau has strict control over casino-related crime, conducting regular raids and inspections of gaming establishments and their surrounding areas – mostly apprehending individuals for alleged illegal money exchange.
In total, during the year some 8,162 criminal cases were presented, a drop of 10.1 percent year, while the number of individuals who were presented to the Public Prosecutions Office for judgement dropped by 30.9 percent yearly, amounting to just 1,265 individuals.