The six licensed land-based casino operators in Macau are to reportedly not be asked to pay any more tax under the provisions of the draft gaming bill currently being considered by legislators.
According to a report from Asia Gaming Brief, this revelation came from local legislator Andrew Chan Chak Mo during a Tuesday briefing that was also attended by a raft of other government officials including the former Portuguese enclave’s Secretary for Economy and Finance, Lei Wai Nong.
Macau is currently home to over 40 casinos operated by Galaxy Entertainment Group Limited, SJM Holdings Limited, MGM China Holdings Limited and Melco Resorts and Entertainment Limited as well as the local Wynn Macau Limited and Sands China Limited subordinates of Wynn Resorts Limited and Las Vegas Sands Corporation respectively. The source explained that these firms are all required to pay a 35% gross gaming revenues tax alongside smaller duties for every live dealer table, gaming machine and VIP room they operate to take their effective rate up to approximately 39%.
Asia Gaming Brief reported that legislators in Macau are currently ironing out the specific provisions of the draft gaming bill, which carries the official title of Amendment to Law Number 16/2001, via a series of behind-closed-door deliberations following the proposal’s successful first reading in January. This intimate exercise should eventually result in these fresh provisions being brought before the full 33-member Legislative Assembly for a final vote to purportedly govern the city’s casino market for the next decade.
Chan reportedly detailed that the draft gaming bill will moreover not include any provision that would increase the enclave’s current 1.25% junket commission rate as to do so could result in such enterprises becoming less competitive. This issue purportedly came to the fore as the legislation is proposing to abolish all forms of revenue sharing and mandate that junkets only earn commissions from their own receipts.
Asia Gaming Brief reported that other changes being proposed by the draft gaming bill would see Macau effectively abolish satellite casinos and sub-concessions by obliging all gambling operators to conduct business only out of premises owned by one of the six concessionaires. This could purportedly be joined by a clause that could see the sextet fined if they fail to meet earlier-established minimum gross gaming revenue targets for their slot and table games.
Other provisions of the draft gaming bill would reportedly oblige casino operators in Macau to keep local government officials up to speed with any ‘major financial decision’ and bring more non-gaming elements to their facilities. All of these could purportedly come with grace implementation periods including a three-year respite for the commission alteration.