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Macau casinos and organised crime

Angela Veng Mei Leong (BSocSc, MPhil; PhD candiate, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of London; Research Associate Fellow, Centre for Criminology, University of Hong Kong)

Journal of Money Laundering Control

ISSN: 1368-5201

Article publication date: 1 October 2004



Presents research into how casinos in Macau, the “Monte Carlo of the Orient”, link with organised crime. Outlines the research methodology, which includes 16 in‐depth interviews with staff from law enforcement agencies, the gambling industry and elsewhere, plus field observations and secondary sources. Describes the pyramid structure of the “bate‐ficha” business and the triads which act as bouncers and protectors. Looks back at how the Macau colonial government regarded gambling as a vital industry from which it obtained most of its revenues, and in return gave the Sociedade de Turismo e Diversoes de Macau (STDM( the gaming monopoly; this symbiotic relationship created openings for triad infiltration and resulting skimming, money laundering and corruption. Concludes that the relationship between government and gaming had benefits, but the monopoly structure gave no incentive for improvement, while the situation anyway deteriorated in the 1990s as casino revenues fluctuated; unregulated competition led to increased crime and there is now urgent need to reform industry policing and management.



Veng Mei Leong, A. (2004), "Macau casinos and organised crime", Journal of Money Laundering Control, Vol. 7 No. 4, pp. 298-307.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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