The government of Macau says it collected MOP39.42 billion (US$4.88 billion) in revenue from the city’s gaming industry in the first four months this year. In the same period last year, it collected about MOP37.77 billion, meaning the tax revenue collected from the gaming sector is up nearly 4.4 percent so far this year.
The government’s Financial Services Bureau releases the data to indicate the general health of the coffers. The published figures show the sum collected so far this year is 40.1 percent of the amount of concession revenue from the gaming industry the government has budgeted for the whole year. The government forecasts it will yield about MOP98.23 billion this year from the gaming sector.
Illustrating the importance of the gaming sector, government current revenue from all sources in the first four months of the year was more than MOP43.36 billion, having been almost MOP42.60 billion at the same stage last year.
Government current revenue from all sources so far this year is 37.7 percent of the amount budgeted for over the course of the whole year.
The government taxes the gross gaming revenue of Macau casinos at a rate of 35 percent, but other levies on casino gaming raise the tax rate to 39 percent, in effect. Taxes on the Macau gaming industry include levies on the income of Chinese traditional lotteries, horseracing, instant lotteries and tax on commissions earned by operators of gambling junkets.
In calculating its budget, the government tends to be conservative about estimating the amount of revenue it gets from gaming. The government has budgeted for a fiscal surplus of more than MOP18.06 billion for the whole of 2019. At the end of April, its surplus was MOP29.03 billion, official figures indicate.
In February, the government said it had collected nearly MOP106.78 billion in direct taxes on gaming in Macau for all of last year, 13.6 percent more than in 2017. The Macau government ended 2018 with a fiscal surplus of MOP53.87 billion for the full year.
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Vitaly Umansky, Tianjiao Yu and Kelsey Zhu
Analysts at Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd