The Macau government collected a total of MOP33.03 billion (US$4.13 billion) in direct taxes from gaming in the first five months of 2016, down by 14.1 percent year-on-year, according to data disclosed on Wednesday by the city’s Financial Services Bureau.
Accumulated direct tax from gaming has been declining as casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) in Macau has fallen for 24 consecutive months when judged year-on-year, according data from the city’s regulator. Aggregate GGR for the first five months of 2016 stood 11.9 percent lower than in the same period in 2015.
Direct taxes from gaming brought in 82.7 percent of the Macau government’s total revenue in the five months to May 31.
Government data show a 14.3 percent year-on-year decrease in government revenue for the January-May period. The total revenue for the period was MOP39.95 billion, about MOP6.68 billion lower than total government revenue in the year-prior period.
Due to the decline in government revenue at a time when expenditure has actually been increasing, the Macau government surplus was down by 35.8 percent year-on-year in the first five months of 2016 to MOP16.36 billion. The surplus amount however is currently above the government’s forecast for the full year, which is MOP3.47 billion.
Last week, Macau’s Secretary for Economy and Finance, Lionel Leong Vai Tac, said that the government was maintaining its forecast for the city’s GGR at MOP200 billion for 2016. That would represent a decline of 13.4 percent compared to the MOP230.84 billion in casino GGR recorded for the whole of 2015.
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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