Gaming revenues surge as tourism grows in Macau

  • 17.5% increase on tax benefits from gambling industry
  • Tourist arrivals up by 2.4% this year, report reveals

Macau is reaping the benefits of a successful gaming year, with the Chinese region reporting a MOP 68.64 billion (US $8.54 billion) tax profit in the first nine months of 2017.

Macau Revenue Rise
Macau’s casinos have contributed to a rise in profits for the first nine months of 2017

Figures for January to September reveal a 17.5% rise in the casino sector’s fiscal contributions when compared with 2016, according to a Financial Services Bureau report released this week.

Increased tourism, new casino venues and a strong performance from the VIP gaming market have all contributed to a fantastic year for Macau’s gambling industry. Even the devastation of September’s double typhoon has failed to slow growth in this thriving sector.

Tax boost will benefit Macau community

Gambling venues in Macau are subject to a hefty 39% levy on all profits, according to reports, and between January and September 2017 the industry has contributed US $8.54 billion to the state.

Four percent of the tax income is funnelled directly into community projects, while the rest goes to the state to be allocated as needed. Tax on gaming revenue accounts for more than 80% of Macau’s total income.

In August, Macau was hit by a record-breaking typhoon followed by another severe storm, unleashing floods on the city and damaging many homes and businesses. However, the region has been able to recover quickly and resume normal business operations, thanks to the casino industry’s donations and tax contributions which have supported locals.

Macau economic growth shows no signs of slowing

The figures put Macau on track to exceed profit expectations for the full year. August did see tourism decline due to the storms, but gaming business bounced back quickly and there were 2.49 million visitors during September – a 2.4% rise compared with 2016. The gaming sector still gets the majority of its business from Chinese mainland residents, and VIP gaming is the major contributor to all gaming profits.

According to Wall Street analysts Sanford Bernstein, the average Macau player is a young Chinese professional who visits the gambling city three times a year, spending an average of $3,000 per trip.

It is these players who make up the bulk of the US $15 billion gaming market in Macau, with annual profits that outstrip Monte Carlo, Atlantic City and even Las Vegas.

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