Macau’s low casino revenues lead to less tax revenue

By Ethan Anderson Updated
Junket operators in Macau sharply declines

The Macau government has again dipped into its financial reserve kitty because of a lack of tax revenue from the city’s gaming industry.

GGR Asia reports that the revised Macau budget proposed that US$790.3 million be allocated from the financial reserve.

The information was disclosed from Macau’s Executive Council, an advisory body that supports the work of the city’s chief executive.

The bill has been submitted to the Legislative Assembly and the government has requested it be dealt with urgently to get it approved by legislators.

In the document, the government said the aim of the bill was “to maintain the financial balance of the Macau budget and compensate for the reduction in revenue” from the casino industry.

Aggregate casino gross gaming revenue in the first 10 months of 2021 was 57.3 per cent higher than the previous year, but still shy of the government’s original forecast.

The bill also said the outlook for public revenues in the remaining months of 2021 was “not optimistic”, given the continued impact from COVID-19.

Because of the pandemic, it “has not yet been possible for public finances to achieve a balance between revenue and expenditure,” it added.

Macau estimates the city’s gross gaming revenue for 2022

The Macau government has estimated the city’s 2022 casino gross gaming revenue at US$16.2 billion, under half of what it achieved in 2019, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The city was likely to experience “great uncertainty” in macroeconomic conditions and would continue to face a fiscal deficit, added the statement on the discal budget plan for next year.

“As the impact of the novel coronavirus continues, the economic conditions for the Macau special administrative region are expected to remain challenging in 2022 and a recovery from it will take time.

“The casino gross gaming revenue for next year is forecast at US$16.2 billion,” the government said.

New poker machine features coming to Macau

All player screens in Macau machines must be fitted with an intermittently flashing clock showing the local time by the end of 2024.

The requirement is part of the city’s Electronic Gaming Machine Technical Standards version 2.0, which came into force on September 1.

The term “electronic gaming machine” or EGM, is used in Macau to denote casino poker machines.

Electronic table games, or ETGs, are covered by separate technical standards.

“The purpose of a clock on the gaming machine is for the promotion of responsible gambling,” the Macau regular, the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau said.

That was understood to be a reference to the clock acting as a reminder to players about how much time they are spending on the device.

“All machines will need to be retrofitted with the clock by the end of year 2024,” the gaming regulator said.

Manufacturers expected to integrate new software from October

Starting from this month, the Macau regulator will offer a grace period in which gaming equipment makers will be required to retrofit existing machines with the necessary software and ensure new machines supplied to the Macau market will have such a clock feature as standard, by the end of 2024.

As of June 30, the end of the second quarter, the Macau market had 9,871 poker machines, according to data from the regulator.

The gaming bureau confirmed that the figure included electronic table game terminals and poker machines.

The time display on machines will be in 12-hour clock format, in the bottom-right corner of the player main screen, according to the technical standards.

Back to top