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DICJ Hints at Tax Tweak

About 40 junket operators have so far been audited. DICJ director Paulo Martins Chan says the city’s 120 or so junkets are “balanced”. Reducing MSAR gaming taxes could be on the menu to help fend off regional competition. Meanwhile, the gov’t is likely to maintain current junket levels as the VIP sector rebounds.

Reducing gaming taxes in the MSAR is one of the options being discussed to counter increased regional competition, the Gaming Inspection and Co-ordination Bureau (DICJ) Director Paulo Martins Chan said yesterday at G2E.
In statements to the press following his keynote address the DICJ Director admitted “everything is being considered” to improve the sector’s performance but that there were no immediate plans to reduce the current gross gaming revenue of 39 per cent tax.
“We’re collecting opinions from the sector so we can make a better decision in the future,” he added.
However, the DICJ Director shut down any possibility of opening up the online gaming market in the territory as a future step.
In his keynote address Mr. Chan noted that in the last year’s G2E edition the Macau gaming sector was facing “turbulence” and was “also facing competition from other gaming jurisdictions” but that the city had managed to achieve a “rebound” in gaming revenues and saw the situation as a “transformation” opportunity.

Junkets under control
The DICJ head also said that so far the department has audited 40 junkets in the city, with the current number of junkets at a “balanced” number of “around 120”.
“Some are good, some need some improvement; we have told them to improve their accounting system,” Mr. Chan added.
When questioned on how the DICJ would manage a possible increase in the number of junket operators in Macau and in credit debt as the VIP sector rebounds, Mr. Chan responded that the department would currently seek to maintain the same number of junkets and the 53 per cent proportion they represent in gaming revenues.
“We think this is a good proportion and we want to keep it like this,” he added.
The DICJ head also commented he believed the new Union Pay identity requirements would not “have any impact” upon gaming revenues.
At the beginning of the month the MSAR Government launched a new policy aimed at ensuring the identity of Mainland Chinese using UnionPay cards corresponds with the owner when withdrawing money from the city’s ATMs as a way of preventing money laundering practices.