The Macau government has collected nearly MOP94.04 billion (US$11.7 billion) in tax revenue from the city’s gaming industry in the first 10 months of this year. The tax revenue collected from the gaming sector so far in 2019 is up 0.4 percent compared to the approximately MOP93.70 billion collected in the prior-year period.
The government taxes the gross gaming revenue (GGR) 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.
Aggregate Macau casino GGR for the first 10 months of 2019 stood at MOP246.74 billion, a contraction of 1.8 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 on Thursday showed the tax sum collected so far this year from the gaming industry was 95.7 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 87.2 percent of the MOP107.88 billion the government collected from all sources.
In calculating its budget, the Macau government tends to be conservative about estimating the amount of revenue it gets from gaming.
The Macau government has budgeted for a fiscal surplus of just above MOP18.06 billion for the whole of 2019. At the end of October, its surplus was nearly MOP47.90 billion, official figures indicate.
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“We see that basically the ‘golden’ periods [for Macau's casino industry] are all concentrated in the second half of this year”
Lei Wai Nong
Macau’s Secretary for Economy and Finance