The Macau government’s take from direct taxes on gaming increased by 12.4 percent year-on-year in the first five months of the year, show provisional data disclosed on Friday by the city’s Financial Services Bureau.
The city collected MOP37.12 billion (US$4.64 billion) in fiscal revenues from direct taxes on gaming between January and May. That compares with MOP33.03 billion collected in the same period of 2016.
Direct taxes from gaming brought in 82.9 percent of the Macau government’s total revenue in the first five months of 2017.
Macau’s casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) rose 23.7 percent year-on-year in May, to MOP22.74 billion, announced on June 1 the local regulator, the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau. It was the 10th consecutive month of GGR growth in the market, and the biggest increase in year-on-year terms since February 2014.
For the five months to May 31, Macau’s aggregate casino GGR was MOP106.38 billion, up 15.8 percent from the prior-year period, according to the official data.
Macau levies an effective tax rate of 39 percent on casino GGR – 35 percent in direct government tax, and the remainder in a number of levies to pay for a range of community good causes.
The Macau government fiscal surplus for the January-May period was up by 44.7 percent year-on-year to MOP23.79 billion.
The city’s government forecasts GGR to come in at MOP200 billion in 2017, an average of approximately MOP16.6 billion per month. It has said it expects to collect a total of MOP71.86 billion in fiscal revenue from direct taxes on gaming this year.
The Macau government has a track record of taking a conservative approach when estimating gaming-related tax revenue in its yearly budgets.
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"Most investors believe that Macau is ‘uninvestable’. Our experience has been that when opinions are so unanimously negative, then the risk/reward is skewed to the upside"
Japanese brokerage Nomura