A gambling zone for foreigners is already in place at the Venetian Macao casino resort (pictured), run by Sands China Ltd, GGRAsia has learnt. It was launched about a week ago, and has several live-dealer tables for baccarat, said people familiar with the matter, but who asked not to be identified.
The zone is situated within a non-main floor area, which was formerly assigned for VIP gaming. Those wishing to gamble there are required to present a passport or travel document proving their entitlement to “foreigner” designation. The special area includes English-speaking staff to serve patrons, the sources told GGRAsia.
Under the updated regulatory framework for Macau gaming, linked to the new 10-year concessions that started on January 1, the city’s Chief Executive has the authority to reduce by up to 5 percentage points casino operators’ tax burden on casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) generated by players from “foreign countries,” as a matter of “public interest”. The city wants to wean the industry away from dependence on high-stakes gambling by players from the Chinese mainland.
Under Macau’s updated regulatory system, the standard tax on casino GGR is 40 percent, which is 1 percentage point higher than the effective rate under the previous framework.
GGRAsia has approached Sands China for clarification on the operational terms for the Venetian Macao’s foreigner gambling area.
GGRAsia also sought comment from the city’s casino regulator, the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, on what steps had been required to allow the area to open. It replied in general terms, rather than giving comment on the specific facility.
It said: “Casino concessionaires have to identify sources of foreigner patrons and establish a database on them in accordance with the measures approved by the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, so that all necessary documentation and information are stored for being eligible to get a reduction” on the prevailing tax burden on casino GGR.
The definition of foreign patrons is mentioned in an administrative regulation on the Macau GGR tax-reduction topic.
Administrative Regulation No.54/2022 defines customers from foreign countries as “those who enter the Macau SAR for tourism and commercial purposes, and who are holders of a travel document issued by a country or region outside the People’s Republic of China”.
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