The Macau authorities collected more than MOP19.63 billion (US$2.43 billion) in revenue from the gaming industry in the first two months of 2019. Data released by the Financial Services Bureau, indicating the general health of the government’s coffers, show that revenue from direct tax on the gaming sector rose by 4.8 percent compared with MOP18.73 billion in the prior-year period.
The latest data, published on Wednesday, indicated that revenue from gaming collected so far in the calendar year accounted for nearly 85.7 percent of the MOP22.92 billion the government collected from all sources.
Macau taxes the gross gaming revenue (GGR) of the casinos at a rate of 35 percent but other levies on casino gaming elevate the effective rate to 39 percent.
Total tax revenues on the Macau gaming sector include levies on the income of traditional Chinese lotteries, greyhound racing, horse racing, instant lotteries and tax on commissions earned by promoters of gambling junkets.
Last month, the government said it had collected nearly MOP106.78 billion in direct taxes on gaming in Macau in the 12 months of 2018, 13.6 percent more than in 2017. The Macau government ended 2018 with a fiscal surplus of MOP53.87 billion for the full year.
In the 2019 budget, the Macau government had estimated that approximately MOP98.23 billion would be collected in direct taxation from gaming for this calendar year.
In calculating its budget, the Macau authorities tend to be conservative about estimating the amount of revenue derived from gaming.
The government has budgeted for a fiscal surplus of over MOP18.06 billion this year. As of February, such surplus stood at nearly MOP16.80 billion, according to the latest data.
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"I think for our property [Grand Lisboa Palace], looking at breaking-even and stabilisation, will take… 12 months or so, or less”
Daisy Ho Chiu Fung
Chairman of Macau casino operator SJM Holdings