Macau is taking a more stringent approach towards regulating its junket operators, but more action is needed to prevent money laundering, an annual US report found.

The US State Department’s International Narcotics Control Strategy Report said junkets had become a renewed focus of Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau and as a result the number of licensed promoters has decreased from 225 in 2011 to 110 in 2018.

“The government should continue to strengthen interagency coordination to prevent money laundering in the gaming industry, especially by continuing to encourage smaller junket operators, who have weaker AML controls, to exit the market while encouraging the professional junket operators to further develop their compliance programs,” the report, which was published in March, found.

“Macau should enhance its ability to support international AML investigations and recovery of assets. Only a handful of money laundering convictions have been obtained in recent years.”

Source: Asia Gaming Brief