The gaming industry in the autonomous region of Macau in China has contributed nearly MOP 94.04 bn ($11.7 billion) to the regional government’s tax kitty in the first 10 months of this year, a rise of 0.4% compared to the same period in 2018.
Casinos in Macau pay a flat tax rate of 35% on their Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR). Additional small levies take the tax rate to 39%. The tax rate covers traditional lotteries, horse racing, instant lotteries, and earning of operators who arrange junkets to the gambling paradise.
Aggregate GGR for the first 10 months of 2019 was MOP246.74 billion, a dip of 1.8 % YoY.
The dip in GGR this year has been attributed to the unrest in Hong Kong, a brewing China-America trade war, and the weakening of the Chinese economy.
Hong Kong is a financial hub and a lot of high nets worth individuals go on gambling junkets to Macau, but this year, due to widespread unrest, businesses have taken a hit. It has led to the uber-rich putting off their junkets for the year.
A crackdown by the Chinese state media on Suncity, Macau’s biggest junket operator, accusing it of harming China’s social-economic order has also made people think twice before going to Macau.
America and China have levied tit-for-tat tariffs on goods from each other. It has led to uncertainty, which has also kept people away from the casinos in Macau.
Data released by the government’s Fiscal Services Bureau show that the tax collected this year till now is 95.7% of the target set for the year by the government in its budget. The data also shows that the tax collected from the gaming industry accounts for 87.2% of its entire revenue collection.