Nearly 100 websites in Macau "allegedly related either to illicit gambling or fraud" were taken down in the first eight months of 2020, according to the Macau government’s Policy Address 2021, released to the public on Monday.

Macau police identified 125 such websites in total – all with servers hosted overseas – but had not been able to obtain action against all of them.

This news comes a week after the Macau Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) confirmed it is "studying the possibility" of legalizing online gambling, but raised concerns over its potential use for money laundering

From GGR Asia:

On Monday the city’s Chief Executive, Ho Iat Seng, had told a plenary meeting of the Legislative Assembly on the outline of the new policy address, saying that his administration would continue to “foster responsible gambling”, and to “combat illegal gambling” activities. The latter term is commonly used in China in relation to online gambling.

The 2021 policy document mentioned that in general terms, the city’s police had handled 256 “gaming-related” crime cases in the first eight months of 2020, a tally that represented a year-on-year decline of 81.8 percent.

In the same period, gross gaming revenue in Macau’s licensed casinos dipped 81.6 percent year-on-year, coinciding with travel restrictions during the Covid-19 pandemic. During the calendar year to August 31, visitor arrivals to Macau declined 87.0 percent year-on-year.

In April, Wong Sio Chak, the city’s Secretary for Security Wong Sio Chak, told the Legislative Assembly that Macau’s Judiciary Police had during 2019 identified 254 “illicit gambling websites” and arranged for 177 of them to be blocked.

The Policy Address 2021 said the city’s security bodies would continue to fight – via spot checks in casinos – loan-sharking crimes and the related forced detainment of gamblers; and crack down against illicit money exchange activities, “tip hustling” and prostitution at venues thought to have “a higher occurrence of gaming-related crimes."
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