The Macau government has collected nearly MOP20.53 billion (US$2.57 billion) in tax revenue from the city’s gaming industry in the first four months of this year. The figure is down 47.9 percent compared to the prior-year period, showed official data published by the city’s Financial Services Bureau this week.
The data show the government collected just above MOP2.04 billion in tax from the city’s casino industry in March. In a revised budget for 2020, the government had forecast it would gather at least MOP4.16 billion in gaming tax on a monthly basis.
The figures published this week showed the tax sum collected so far this year from the gaming industry was 41.1 percent of the amount the government had budgeted for the whole year, according to its revised budget. The government is now forecasting it will collect nearly MOP49.98 billion in such tax in full-year 2020.
Macau casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) declined by 96.8 percent in April in year-on-year terms, to just under MOP754 million, according to official data. Aggregate Macau casino GGR for the four months to April 30 stood at approximately MOP31.24 billion, a contraction of 68.7 percent year-on-year, showed official data.
The government taxes the GGR of Macau casinos at a rate of 35 percent, but other levies on the casino gaming gross raise the tax rate to 39 percent in effect. Other taxes on the Macau gambling sector include levies on the income of Chinese traditional lotteries, on horse racing, instant lotteries and tax on commissions earned by operators of gambling junkets.
The tax-take figures in a given calendar period and the city’s casino GGR in such a time frame 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 latest official data also indicated that revenue from gaming collected so far in 2020 accounted for about 85.6 percent of the slightly above MOP23.97 billion the government collected from all sources.
The Macau government is now expecting a MOP38.95-billion deficit for full-year 2020, due to measures to support the economy amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
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Carlo Santarelli and Steven Pizzella
Deutsche Bank analysts