Gaming taxes collected between Jan-Oct drop by 74pct y-on-y

The Macau SAR government has collected a total of MOP24.3 billion (US$3 billion) in gaming taxes between January and October, less 74 per cent than in the same period last year, central budget data published by the Financial Services Bureau (DSF) today (Wednesday) reveal.

Macau levies a 39 per cent tax rate on the casino gaming revenue, including a 35 per cent direct tax and other types of levies for social and welfare purposes.  

Local authorities had previously estimated they would collect about MOP50 billion in gaming taxes for this period, with the local gaming sector greatly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Between January and October local gross gaming revenues have dropped by 81.4 per cent year-on-year to about MOP45.8 billion.

This fall led to a 66.5 per cent year-on-year plunge in current revenue reported by the local government in this 10-month period, to some MOP36.1 billion, as income generated by gaming taxes generally represents the lion share of the Macau SAR government revenue.

Including capital revenue, the local government collected a total of MOP80.8 billion, still a 27 per cent year-on-year drop, and short of the MOP109.6 billion authorities had expected to have reported by October.

During the same period, local public expenses also increased by 11.5 per cent year-on-year to some MOP69.6 billion, with transfer, funding and subsidies representing the largest expense at MOP45.3 billion as local authorities initiated several policies to recover a local economy badly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Macau SAR government has proposed an extra injection of MOP20 billion from local financial reserves to balance the budget in the face of reducing public income from gaming taxes.

If approved it would represent the third adjustment made to the local budget this year.

Meanwhile, the Legislative Assembly recently approved the 2021 government budget which provides for an extraordinary injection of MOP26.6 billion from the financial reserve to counter the public administration deficit, with authorities estimating that the gaming sector will generate MOP130 billion in gross gaming revenues next year, with some MOP45.5 million to be collected in gaming taxes.