The Macau government estimates that in 2022 it will collect only MOP43 million (US$5.35 million) in taxes on commissions that are paid by casinos to junkets, a 79.5 percent-decline from the MOP210-million in such taxation the government expects it will receive for fiscal-year 2021.
The information was included in a summary report of the city’s 2022 budget plan published by the Financial Services Bureau.
In 2020, the actual tax amount collected on commission paid by casinos to junkets, stood at nearly MOP66.54 million, which was 68 percent lower than the government’s initial forecast for the year, which had been MOP210 million, according to the 2020 budget execution report.
Junkets – also known as gaming promoters – are licensed by the Macau government to promote VIP gaming in the city’s casinos. Their services include: arrangement of gambling credit for players; collection on losses generated by high-roller play; and organisation of player accommodation.
A withholding tax of 5 percent is levied on commissions paid by gaming operators to junkets; but the withholding tax is not levied on the gross value. In Macau, junket operators are offered incentives to bring players to casinos by usually being offered either a share of the revenue or a commission on rolling chip turnover, with the latter capped at 1.25 percent.
As of January 2021, there were 85 licensed gaming promoters in Macau – either entities or individuals – according to the latest available data from the city’s gaming regulator. The number marked the eighth consecutive year of decline in the number of licensed junkets in the Macau market.
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Vitaly Umansky, Louis Li and Shirley Yang
Analysts at Sanford C. Bernstein