The Macau government collected nearly MOP33.91 billion (US$4.22 billion) in fiscal revenues from direct taxes on gaming in full-year 2021, up by 13.8 percent year-on-year, but a smaller amount than it had forecast in its original budget, according to data released on Thursday by the city’s Financial Services Bureau.
In its original annual budget, the government forecast that it would collect just under MOP50.01 billion in direct taxes from gaming in 2021. The government revised the estimate in November, to MOP33.73 billion.
Direct taxes from gaming accounted for 67.2 percent of the Macau government’s MOP50.44 billion in total revenue achieved last year.
Aggregate casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) in 2021 stood at MOP86.86 billion, an increase of 43.7 percent on the MOP60.44 billion achieved in 2020.
Macau charges an effective tax rate of 39 percent on casino GGR – 35 percent in direct government tax, and the remainder in a number of levies to pay for a range of community good causes.
In November, the government said it estimated the city’s 2022 casino GGR to reach MOP130 billion.
According to the budget, revenue from direct taxes from gaming would reach just under MOP49.76 billion in 2022. In January, the government collected nearly MOP3.26 billion in gaming tax, up 1.5 percent from a year earlier.
A number of scholars told GGRAsia that Macau was likely to have an ongoing yearly shortfall in its annual gaming tax income relative to the levels of public spending to which it usually has been pledged, if junket-based VIP gambling no longer made a significant contribution to the city’s coffers.
Junkets historically have introduced high-value players to Macau casinos’ VIP gambling operations. But the junket sector has been in the spotlight since November following the detention of Alvin Chau Cheok Wa and the shutdown of his junket brand Suncity Group, and more recently the arrest of Levo Chan Weng Lin, boss of junket brand Tak Chun. Several among the city’s six casino operators have confirmed that junkets had ceased operations at their respective properties in Macau.
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Chief commercial officer of testing and certification firm GLI