Government predicts deficit budget for 2021 due to weak gambling revenues

The Government of Macau predicts that the budget for 2021 will be in deficit, and due to the impact caused by Covid-19, game revenues will be at MOP130 billion.

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, casinos recorded revenues of MOP 292.4 billion in 2019.

According to data released today (Sunday), the accumulated gross revenue of the game fell 81.4 per cent until October.

For the next year, “there is a reduction in the revenue from public finances, namely in the revenue from the reduction of the special tax on gambling”, which normally represents around 80 per cent of the total public revenue of Macau, pointed out the proposed Budget Law of 2021, published on the Legislative Assembly website.

Of the gross value of gambling revenues, 35 per cent goes to the territory’s coffers.
For this reason, “there are still not enough to meet budgetary expenses”, so it will be necessary to use an extraordinary reserve of more than MOP26 billion to cover public expenditure, says the document.

For 2021, the Government predicted that public expenditure would amount to MOP95 billion and that revenues would amount to more than MOP96 billion, which already includes the injection of an extraordinary reserve.

Still, the authorities in the territory said they hoped that mainland China, Macau’s big tourist market, could provide, “strong support for Macau’s economic development.”

Macau was one of the first territories to be affected by the pandemic, having registered 46 cases. Currently, there are no active cases.