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Macau's Gambling Revenues Surge

by Mary Swire,, Hong Kong

05 January 2012

According to the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, casino gambling revenues in Macau increased by 42% in 2011, to reach MOP267.87bn (USD33.48bn).

Macau is the only place in China where casino gaming is legal, but its growth has been fuelled in recent years by gambling tourism, largely from mainland China and Hong Kong, spurred on by their rapid economic growth. It overtook Las Vegas in gaming revenues in 2007, and is said to be already five times the latter’s size.

Gambling taxes account for well over 80% of government revenue. Gross casino revenues are subject to a 35% direct tax and an additional social contribution tax, making an effective rate of around 39%. Overall tax revenue from gambling reaches some 30% of Macau’s gross domestic product.

It is expected by some that growth in the casino gambling industry will be much slower next year, partly because of the rapid growth in 2011, but also because of the difficult global economic situation forecast for 2012, including in China.

Other commentators have pointed, however, to the continued strong growth in the market forecast for the first quarter of this year, and to the further developments in the industry that have already been approved by the Macau government.

TAGS: tax | business | gambling tax | corporation tax | China | Macau | offshore | gambling | tax reform

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