The Macau government has collected nearly MOP85.66 billion (US$10.6 billion) in tax revenue from the city’s gaming industry in the first nine months of this year. The tax revenue collected from the gaming sector so far this year is up 0.33 percent compared to the approximately MOP85.38 billion collected in the prior-year period.
The aggregate Macau’s casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) for the first nine months of 2019 stood at MOP220.30 billion, a contraction of 1.7 percent year-on-year, showed official data. The tax figures and the city’s casino GGR are not directly comparable for a number of reasons. They include the fact that there is typically a delay between the point where GGR is recorded in Macau casino operations, and the point at which tax is registered by the Macau government as having been paid on such play.
The government’s Financial Services Bureau releases the data to indicate the general health of the city’s coffers. The figures published this week showed the sum collected so far this year from the gaming industry was 87.2 percent of the amount the government had budgeted for the whole year. The government had forecast it would collect about MOP98.23 billion this year from the gaming sector.
The latest official data also indicated that revenue from gaming collected so far in 2019 accounted for about 87.63 percent of the MOP97.75 billion the government collected from all sources.
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 also include levies on the income of Chinese traditional lotteries, horse racing, instant lotteries and tax on commissions earned by operators of gambling junkets.
In calculating its budget, the Macau 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 September, its surplus was nearly MOP43.08 billion, official figures indicate.
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“All of the [casino] concessionaires in Macau respect the law in China, and we never promote gaming in China”
Wilfred Wong Ying Wai
President of Macau casino operator Sands China