The Macau government’s take from direct taxes on gaming increased by 17.7 percent year-on-year in the first three months of 2018, show provisional data disclosed on Thursday by the city’s Financial Services Bureau.
The city collected approximately MOP26.30 billion (US$3.25 billion) in fiscal revenues from direct taxes on gaming in the first quarter this year. That compares with MOP22.34 billion collected in the same period of 2017.
Direct taxes from gaming brought in 84.5 percent of the Macau government’s total revenue in the three months to March 31, which stood at MOP31.12 billion.
Macau’s aggregate casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) for the first quarter was MOP76.51 billion, up 20.5 percent from the prior-year period, according to official data from the city’s gaming regulator.
Macau levies an effective tax rate of 39 percent on casino GGR – 35 percent in direct government tax, and the remainder in a number of levies to pay for a range of community good causes.
The Macau government fiscal surplus for the January-March period was up by 20.8 percent year-on-year to nearly MOP15.72 billion.
The city’s government forecasts GGR will be MOP230 billion in 2018. It has said it expects to collect a total of MOP82.41 billion in fiscal revenue from direct taxes on gaming this year.
The Macau government has a track record of taking a conservative approach when estimating gaming-related tax revenue in its yearly budgets.
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”I would expect that there might be some clearly-defined criteria … and I’m supportive of a more clearly-defined roadmap for the [gaming] industry”
Co-chairperson and executive director of Macau casino operator MGM China