The Macau government collected a total of MOP51.67 billion (US$6.47 billion) in direct taxes from gaming in the first eight months of 2016, down by 11.8 percent from the prior-year period, according to data disclosed on Wednesday by Macau’s Financial Services Bureau.
The aggregate for the calendar year to August 31, 2016, is however a decrease of 43.1 percent when compared to the equivalent period of 2014, when revenue from gaming taxes stood at MOP90.86 billion.
Overall, the figures show a 12.9 percent year-on-year decrease in government revenue for the eight months to August 31. The total revenue for the period was MOP63.43 billion, about MOP9.41 billion less than that of a year ago.
Direct taxes from gaming brought in 81.5 percent of the Macau government’s total revenue in the January to August period.
Due to the decline in revenue, the Macau government’s surplus fell in the reporting period. The surplus in the first eight months of 2016 was MOP17.87 billion, down 38.4 percent from the prior-year period.
Such decline is a consequence of the lacklustre performance of the city’s casino industry. Macau casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) had seen 26 straight months of year-on-year decline, until August’s expansion of 1.1 percent.
Credit agency Fitch Ratings Inc said recently that it could take Macau gaming revenue nine years to return to its 2014 level. In 2014, Macau casino GGR totalled MOP351.52 billion, according to official data.
For the eight months to August 31 this year, Macau’s aggregate casino GGR was nearly MOP144.40 billion. The government forecasts GGR to come in at MOP200 billion in 2016; it expects to collect a total of MOP70 billion in fiscal revenue from direct taxes on gaming this year.
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"The [Macau] government has a lead in this subject in regards to what should be done after the [gaming] concessions expire. We will be first listening to what the government will say”
Ambrose So Shu Fai
Vice-chairman and chief executive at Macau casino operator SJM Holdings