The Macau government collected a total of MOP8.49 billion (US$1.06 billion) in direct taxes from gaming in January, down by 29.7 percent year-on-year, according to data disclosed on Monday by Macau’s Financial Services Bureau.
Overall, the figures show a 27.5 percent year-on-year decrease in government revenue for January. The total revenue for last month was MOP10.50 billion, about MOP3.99 billion less than that of a year ago.
Direct taxes from gaming brought in 80.8 percent of the Macau government’s total revenue in January.
Due to the decline in revenue, the Macau government surplus fell in the first month of 2015. The surplus in January was MOP8.31 billion, down by 34.1 percent from last year’s MOP12.61 billion.
The government surplus dropped by 6.2 percent in full-2014 from the previous year, according to official data. Total government revenue last year reached MOP156.07 billion, a slight increase of 0.4 from 2013.
The growth in direct taxes from gaming slowed to 1.7 percent last year from 18.5 percent in 2013. Direct taxes from gaming accounted for 83.1 percent of the Macau government’s total revenue in 2014.
The lacklustre performance is a consequence of declining gross gaming revenue (GGR) in the city.
The Macau government levies a special gaming tax on casino GGR at the rate of 35 percent. It also collects about 4 percent of the gross in indirect taxes for social and promotional purposes, as well as a levy on each gaming machine, live dealer table and VIP room.
Macau’s casinos have seen eight consecutive months of declines in gaming revenue since June last year, which analysts have blamed on a combination of supply side factors and demand side ones. They include tighter liquidity conditions for the credit-issuing junkets, a reduction in the number of transit visas available to high rollers and the crackdown on corruption in mainland China.
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"We have estimated that on average, the [daily] visitor arrivals for this year’s Chinese New Year break could turn out to be a bit weaker than for the Christmas holiday period"
Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes
Director of the Macao Government Tourism Office