Gov’t gaming tax tally as of July only 44pct of projected

The Macau SAR has collected a total of MOP22.2 billion (US$2.7 billion) in gaming tax revenue in the first seven months of this year, only 44 per cent of the estimated MOP50 billion figure for this period.

The local government collected about MOP3 billion in gaming taxes in August, a month marked by the discovery of four Covid-19 cases in the city which led to several border restrictions and the SAR’s first mass citywide testing.

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.

Secretary for Economy and Finance Lei Wai Nong indicated last month that despite the poor gaming results reported in the first half of this year, the SAR would still be able to finish 2021 with the previously projected tally of MOP50 billion in gaming taxes.

Local authorities have also estimated 2021 could end with some MOP130 million in gross gaming revenues, however as of August that tally stands at MOP61.9 billion despite a considerable improvement in monthly results from last year, the first impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

By July the Macau SAR had reported some MOP30.3 billion in current revenue, mostly from gaming taxes, and about 48 per cent of value expected for this period, plus MOP60.3 billion in capital revenue, some 60 per cent of the projected target.

A total of MOP49.2 billion in expenses was also reported between January and July, the lion share resulting from transfer, funding and subsidies related to pandemic impact support for the local economy, and slightly lower than the MOP50.5 billion in expenses registered by the same time of last year.