Countries/Jurisdictions of Primary Concern - Macau

Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
Report

Macau, a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People’s Republic of China, is not a significant regional financial center. Its financial system, which services a mostly local population, consists of banks and insurance companies as well as offshore financial businesses, such as credit institutions, insurers, underwriters, and trust management companies. Both sectors are subject to similar supervisory requirements and oversight by Macau’s Monetary Authority.

With estimated gaming revenues just under $45 billion for 2014, Macau is the world’s largest gaming market by revenue. The gaming industry relies heavily on loosely-regulated gaming promoters and collaborators, known as junket operators, for the supply of wealthy gamblers, mostly from Mainland China. Increasingly popular among gamblers seeking anonymity or alternatives to China’s currency movement restrictions, junket operators are also popular among casinos aiming to reduce credit default risk and unable to legally collect gambling debts on the Mainland, where gambling is illegal. This inherent conflict of interest, together with the anonymity gained through the use of the junket operator in the transfer and commingling of funds, as well as the absence of currency and exchange controls, present vulnerabilities for money laundering.

Macau government officials indicate the primary sources of laundered funds, derived from local and overseas criminal activity, are gaming-related crimes, property offenses, and fraud.

For additional information focusing on terrorist financing, please refer to the Department of State’s Country Reports on Terrorism, which can be found at: //2009-2017.state.gov/j/ct/rls/crt/

Do FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONs engage in currency transactions related to international narcotics trafficking that include significant amounts of US currency; currency derived from illegal sales in the U.S.; or illegal drug sales that otherwise significantly affect the U.S.: NO

criminalizATION OF money laundering:

“All serious crimes” approach or “list” approach to predicate crimes: All serious crimes

Are legal persons covered: criminally: YES civilly: NO

Know-your-customer (KYC) rules:

Enhanced due diligence procedures for PEPs: Foreign: YES Domestic: YES

KYC covered entities: Banks, credit and insurance entities, casinos, gaming intermediaries, remittance agents and money changers, cash couriers, trust and company service providers, realty services, pawn shops, traders in high value goods, notaries, registrars, commercial offshore service institutions, lawyers, auditors, accountants, and tax consultants

REPORTING REQUIREMENTS:

Number of STRs received and time frame: 1,376: January 1 - September 30, 2014

Number of CTRs received and time frame: Not applicable

STR covered entities: All persons, irrespective of entity or amount of transaction involved

money laundering criminal Prosecutions/convictions:

Prosecutions: 0: January 1 - September 30, 2014

Convictions: 0: January 1 - September 30, 2014

Records exchange mechanism:

With U.S.: MLAT: NO Other mechanism: YES

With other governments/jurisdictions: YES

Macau is a member of the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG), a FATF-style regional body. Its most recent mutual evaluation can be found at: http://www.apgml.org/documents/default.aspx?s=date&c=7&pcPage=5

ENFORCEMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION ISSUES AND COMMENTS:

Macau continues to make considerable efforts to develop an AML/CFT framework that meets international standards. Its financial intelligence unit (FIU) has been an essential component in coordinating efforts to develop long-term AML/CFT infrastructure and in developing close collaboration with other FIUs, including the signing of memoranda of understanding and collaboration agreements with 11 foreign counterpart FIUs.

Nevertheless, important deficiencies remain. Legislation that would strengthen Macau’s customer due diligence requirements is pending, as is legislation to improve the jurisdiction’s cross-border currency controls. Macau has yet to implement an effective cross-border cash declaration system.

While Macau’s AML law does not require currency transaction reporting, gaming entities are subject to threshold reporting for transactions over MOP 500,000 (approximately $62,640) under the supplementary guidelines of the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau. Macau should lower the large transaction report threshold for casinos to $3,000 to bring it in line with international standards. The government also should continue to strengthen interagency coordination to prevent money laundering in the gaming industry, especially by introducing robust oversight of junket operators, mandating due diligence for non-regulated gaming collaborators, and implementing cross-border currency reporting. Macau also should enhance its ability to support international AML/CFT investigations.

As a SAR of China, Macau cannot sign or ratify international conventions in its own right. China is responsible for Macau’s international affairs and may arrange for its ratification of any convention to be extended to Macau. Conventions extended to Macau include: the 1988 Drug Convention (1999), the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (2003), the UN Convention against Corruption (2006), and the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism (2006).