Macao Country Report
The influence of organised criminal groups has been reduced, but they remain active. Risks of violent crimes increase during downturns in Macao’s gaming sector, since such downturns reduce the income criminal groups derive from non-violent, legal/quasi-legal channels. In the first half of 2019, 295 cases of loan-sharking-related crimes connected to gambling were reported, a 16.1% year-on-year increase. However, increased police patrols in and around casinos and closer police collaboration with the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau have been successful at curbing such crimes. Separately, basic infrastructure of the territory has been substantially upgraded since the return to Chinese sovereignty in 1999 and will continue to receive further investment from mainland China.
Terrorism risk is negligible in Macao SAR, with no known non-state armed groups operating in or from the territory.
Despite the tightening of anti-money-laundering rules – for instance, by making compliance and due diligence operational obligations – multinationals are likely to face a moderate risk from money laundering activities. In addition, companies involved in the gaming and financial services are facing increasing risk from cyber crimes. Criminal gangs from Hong Kong SAR and Southeast Asia operate actively in Macao SAR, especially in the gaming industries, although they are highly unlikely to significantly disrupt the business environment for international companies. However, there had been incidents of violent attacks and threats against foreign lawyers based in Macao in connection to their legal work.
None of mainland China's potential adversaries will probably target Macao SAR in a military conflict, and Macao's government faces no violent domestic threats.