The Macau government collected in 2022 only MOP3.5 million (US$434,570) in taxes on commissions that are paid by casinos to junkets, a 92.5-percent decline from the MOP46.5 million collected in 2021.
The government had estimated that in 2022 it would collect MOP43.0 million in such tax, according to its budget for that year.
The actual figure was disclosed in the government’s 2022 budget execution report, submitted this month to the city’s Legislative Assembly.
Macau’s casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) dipped 51.4 percent year-on-year, to MOP42.20 billion in 2022, due to travel restrictions linked to the Covid-19 pandemic. VIP revenue stood at nearly MOP10.15 billion, a decline of 64.4 percent compared to 2021.
The government had said previously that it expected taxes on junket commissions to decline mainly because of the impact of the pandemic, as well as mainland China’s policy regarding “controls on capital flows”. It had also cited an “adjustment” phase for the city’s VIP gaming sector.
Junkets – also known as gaming promoters – are licensed by the Macau government to promote VIP gaming in the city’s casinos. Their services include: arrangement of gambling credit for players; collection on losses generated by high-roller play; and organisation of player accommodation.
As of January 2022, there were 46 licensed gaming promoters – either entities or individuals – in Macau, down 45.9 percent over the past 12 months. The number shrank by 21.7 percent year-on-year, to 36 as of January this year.
The latest fall marked the tenth consecutive year of decline in the number of licensed junkets in the Macau market, showed the official data.
In its budget for 2023, the Macau government estimates that it will collect MOP10 million in taxes on commissions that are paid by casinos to junkets.
The Macau government estimated in its 2023 budget that the city’s overall casino GGR would be MOP130 billion. In the nine months to September 30, Macau’s casino GGR reached MOP128.95 billion, up 305.3 percent from the comparable 2022 period.
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