The Macau government collected nearly MOP29.81 billion (US$3.73 billion) in tax revenue from the city’s gaming industry in full-year 2020. That figure was down 73.6 percent compared to 2019, according to official data.
The last two months of 2020 were among the best in terms of gaming tax, since January that year, before the full effects of the Covid-19 pandemic were felt on the local industry, according to the latest data published on Thursday by the city’s Financial Services Bureau.
The government taxes the gross gaming revenue (GGR) of Macau casinos at a rate of 35 percent, but other levies on casino gaming gross raise the tax rate to 39 percent in effect. Other taxes on the Macau gambling sector include levies on the income of Chinese traditional lotteries, on horse racing, and on instant lotteries. There is also tax on commissions earned by operators of gambling junkets.
Aggregate Macau casino GGR in 2020 stood at MOP60.44 billion, a contraction of 79.3 percent year-on-year.
Macau’s tax-take figures in a given calendar period, and the city’s casino GGR in such a time frame, are not directly comparable for a number of reasons. They include the fact that there is typically a delay between the point where GGR is recorded in Macau casino operations, and the point at which tax is registered by the Macau government as having been paid on such play.
The Macau government expected to collect nearly MOP29.66 billion in taxes from the city’s gaming industry in 2020, according to a second revision to the fiscal year 2020 budget plan, approved in December.
Macau’s casino GGR for 2021 might only reach MOP130 billion, i.e., 44.5 percent of 2019′s MOP292.5 billion, as “harsh” economic conditions are likely to persist, and recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic will “take time”, said in November the city’s government in its budget proposal for the fiscal year 2021.
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“We see that basically the ‘golden’ periods [for Macau's casino industry] are all concentrated in the second half of this year”
Lei Wai Nong
Macau’s Secretary for Economy and Finance