No mention has been made in Macau’s 2024 fiscal year budget of applying a previously-mooted possibility of rebate on gross gaming revenue (GGR) tax for bets made by foreign players. The budget plan was given its final nod on Wednesday by the city’s Legislative Assembly.
Amid the rejig of the local regulatory framework leading up to Macau’s new, 10-year gaming concessions starting in January, the government had said it might approve an up to 5-percentage-point rebate on Macau’s 40-percent tax on GGR, for play generated by overseas players using specially-designated zones of gaming facilities. But operators would have to apply for such relief.
As of April, the authorities confirmed that all six operators already had such foreigner-only betting areas. By June this year, the government mentioned that none of those operators had applied for a GGR tax rebate on any foreigner-generated play.
The remarks on the 2024 budget were part of what is known as the “concluding opinion” on it, with the overall commentary signed off recently by a committee of the city’s Legislative Assembly, prior to Wednesday’s final vote.
The concluding opinion mentioned: “It would be hard to estimate whether foreign visitors would gamble in the casinos and thereby allow the waiving of the relevant contributions…” by the casino operators to the city’s gaming tax income.
The document also stated: “The Macau SAR Government will continue to attract foreign patrons to visit Macau next year, via work from the government – setting up more international flight links in Macau and giving travellers more transport discounts – and also [via work] from the casino concessionaires.”
The city’s government has forecast that 2024 casino GGR will reach MOP216.0 billion (US$26.80 billion), and that figure is mentioned in the 2024 fiscal year budget proposal.
Macau expects to see revenue from gaming taxes for the full year to reach MOP75.60 billion. It also estimates that in 2024 it will collect MOP30.0 million in taxes on commissions that are paid by casinos to junkets.
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