Despite the performance which has repeatedly been characterised as inadequate, the Macau gambling industry has still succeeded sufficiently to increase the city’s economy.
According to statistics published by the Macau Financial Services Bureau (FSB), between January and August of this year, area gambling activities are liable for the $9.49 billion contribution in tax revenues. Compared to the same period last year this corresponds to an rise of 1.5%.
The increase is more notable by the fact that, over the first eight months, gross gaming income (GGR) in the town had dropped by 1.9%. Though, there is no precise correlation in a specified period between the GGR and the tax revenue as gambling activity taxes are often recorded later than when the activity occurred, leading to a shift in data that makes the two statistics presented uneven.
Gambling activities, as is almost solely the case, are the crux of Macau’s financial activity. The FSB points out that this year’s taxes paid by casinos amount to 89.6% of the entire take-up of the city from all sources.
It is also a sign that Macau’s gambling industry remains solid, as the town had anticipated to pick up around $12.17 billion from gambling throughout the year, with 77.9% of that objective already reached.
For both the gambling industry and the town, this is excellent news. The government had anticipated a fiscal surplus of over $2.23 billion in preparing its budget, and by the end of August, the ongoing output of the casinos saw the government hold a surplus of $4.72 billion.
However, there is still some concern that worldwide events may have long-term effect on the town. Democratic protests in Hong Kong, like the continuing trade conflict between the U.S. and China, have already been recognised as a factor in visiting Macau. Regional gambling rivalry has also increased, hitting Macau but not accountable for any significant losses.
If all three go on, there is the possibility that things might get worse before they get better. As the town continues to adopt a more diversified tourism sector strategy, it will be in a better place to compensate any losses from weaker gambling by attracting other kinds of visitation.