Macao Casinos Pay Record High Tax in 2001

Xinhua, 2 April 2002

MACAO, April 2 (Xinhua)—The 11 casinos in Macao paid combined tax of as much as six billion patacas (750 million U.S. dollars) last year, hitting a new record in the history as a major source of government fiscal income, it was revealed Tuesday.

The figure was posted by the Macao Tourism and Amusement Company (STDM), the former casino monopoly run by tycoon Stanley Ho, after an overall liquidation on its gambling business on the night of March 31 when the industry was officially opened up.

It was estimated that the STDM's provision of casino tax would have to reach over 1.6 billion patacas (200 million dollars) in the first quarter of this year, a rise of 10 percent year on year.

The special administrative region (SAR) government granted in February three casino licenses to Wynn Resorts, Galaxy Casino and the Macao Gaming Company (SJM), a subsidiary of the STDM, in an ambitious move to bring in market competition and optimize this core industry of Macao.

A big difference is that starting from April 1, casinos should turn in tax amounting to 35 percent of their revenues, compared with the 31.8 percent before.

We are confident that SJM will be able to maintain the current amount of gaming tax to the government, and it is our ultimate goal to bring a boost to the gaming revenue of the government, Stanley Ho said earlier at a press conference.

Statistics also show that tax imposed on football lottery and horse race sectors—also considered as part of the gaming industry—topped 200 million patacas (25 million dollars) in 2001.