Gaming tax revenue as of September only 55pct of estimates

The Macau SAR has collected MOP27.2 billion (US$3.3 billion) in gaming taxes this year as of September, or about 55 per cent of the MOP50 billion estimate authorities expected to collect in 2021.

Local authorities predicted the year would end with a total of MOP130 billion in gross gaming revenue, however, after outbreaks in the SAR and the mainland continued to impact visitor numbers, combined with the continuing shrinking of the VIP market pool, total results reached MOP67.7 billion by September, some 52 per cent of what was expected.

The government taxes the gross gaming revenue of Macau casinos at a rate of 35 per cent, with other levies raising the effective tax rate to 39 per cent, however, delays in result reporting and tax collected do not allow for a direct timeline comparison.

The Macau government collected nearly MOP29.81 billion in tax revenue from the city’s gaming industry in full-year 2020, a 73 per cent plunge from the amount collected in the previous year.

Overall, current revenue reported in the central budget published by the Financial Services Bureau reached MOP69 billion or 68 per cent of estimated, with expenses reaching MOP61.7 billion, about 61 per cent of what was predicted.

The Macau government announced yesterday (Wednesday) that it wants to resort to the financial reserve again to meet increased spending on the territory’s budget, which remains virtually paralysed due to policies to combat the pandemic.

Since the start of the pandemic in 2020, and if this new appeal to the ‘vault’ materialises, the Macau government will have injected MOP84.5 billion to cover budgetary expenses.

The bill, announced today at a press conference of the Executive Council, submitted as a matter of urgency to the Legislative Assembly, provides for the reinforcement of budget expenditure in the amount of MOP2.3 billion.

This new rectification aims to cover the expenses of eight measures to maintain the survival of commercial establishments and ensure employment, announced on 11 October.

The total expenditure of the integrated ordinary budget will thus be increased from MOP103.5 billion to MOP105.8 billion.

During today’s press conference, the spokesman for the Executive Council, André Cheong, explained that these measures will benefit 100,000 employees of around 15,000 small and medium-sized enterprises in Macau.