The Macau SAR government is estimating that 2022 will end with MOP130 billion (US$16.2 billion) in gross gaming revenues, according to the budget proposal for next year submitted to the Legislative Assembly (AL).
Local authorities had made the same prediction for the current year, 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 MOP72.1 billion by October, some 55 per cent of what was expected.
In 2019, before the pandemic outbreak, the city’s gaming sector generated a total of MOP292.5 billion in gaming revenue.
The Macau SAR has collected MOP27.2 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.
By 2022, authorities are expecting to collect MOP45.5 billion in gaming taxes, and since revenue to be collected next year was considered ‘insufficient to cover the expenses, local authorities have proposed to resort to MOP30 billion from the SAR financial reserves.
Local financial reserves in November stood at MOP620 billion, a slight increase on the end-June figure.
The AL approved yesterday a revision to the 2021 public budget to account for a MOP2.3 billion injection from the financial reserve to meet increased spending linked to policies to counter the current pandemic impact in the SAR.
With the new boost, the Macau government will have injected MOP84.5 billion to cover budgetary expenses since the start of the pandemic in 2020.
For 2022 authorities are estimating revenue of MOP100 billion – including the reserve injection – and MOP99.4 billion in expenses, with a surplus of MOP641.8 million.
“In order to assure that the SAR financial resources can be applied to projects directed to the well-being of the local population the Macau government will continue with cost reductions measures, reducing the current expenses of public departments,” the budget document indicates.