Macao's casinos have a bad reputation
For some people Macau is the real world capital of gambling, and a lot more important than Las Vegas. However, the former Portuguese colony is far from being well-known in Europe, and the competitor in Nevada is a lot more famous.
Macau has a reputation for crime, which has also been subject of the famous French film Gambling Hell from 1942, directed by Jean Delannoy, which is an adaptation of the famous novel.
This expression of Macau being a hell seems to become even more appropriate now, as the crime rate related to gambling offences increased by 15% during the first three months of 2017.
This rise stems mainly from the resurgence of counterfeit casino chips that many players are trying to sell. This practice has fast become a real business in Macau, and as a result, 3,502 criminal reports about counterfeit chips have been filed with the local police during the first quarter of 2017.
These types of offences are not the only reported gambling-related criminal cases. Macau also recorded an increase of 18% more cases regarding unscrupulous debt collectors who harass indebted players even after their debts were settled.
Problems with corruption
The problem with gambling-related crime is also that many police officers are corrupt and paid for by the local mafia. This means that the fight against these illicit activities is even more difficult. In May alone, six police officers were arrested in connection with corruption and facilitation of gambling-related criminal activities.
The authorities in Macau are becoming aware of the problem. Security secretary Wong Sio Chak has just announced a series of measures to combat these criminal activities.