The Macau government collected nearly MOP402.4 million (US$50.4 million) in tax revenue from the city’s gaming industry in July. The figure was down 46.8 percent compared to June, showed official data published on Wednesday by the city’s Financial Services Bureau.
The tax-take figures in a given calendar period and the city’s casino gross gaming revenue (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.
Macau casino GGR declined by 94.5 percent in July in year-on-year terms, to just above MOP1.34 billion, according to official data. That figure however was an improvement from the MOP716-million tally recorded in June.
Aggregate Macau casino GGR for the first seven months of 2020 stood at approximately MOP35.06 billion, a contraction of 79.8 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 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 data published on Wednesday showed the government collected just above MOP22.19 billion in tax from the city’s gaming industry in the seven months to July 31, down 67.0 percent from the prior-year period. In a revised budget for 2020, the government had forecast it would collect on average at least MOP4.16 billion in gaming tax on a monthly basis.
The latest figures showed the tax sum collected so far this year from the gaming sector was 44.4 percent of the amount the government had budgeted for the whole year, according to its revised budget. The government is currently forecasting it will collect nearly MOP49.98 billion in gaming-related taxes in full-year 2020.
The latest official data also indicated that revenue from gaming collected so far in 2020 accounted for about 77.8 percent of the slightly above MOP28.53 billion tax revenue the government collected from all sources. Despite the decline, the government had recorded a surplus of MOP22.64 billion up to July 31, thanks to an increase in so-called “other capital revenue” in the last two months.
The Macau government is 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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“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