Macau casinos may create foreign player zones for 5% levy exemption

The new measure aims to attract customers from jurisdictions other than mainland China.
The new measure aims to attract customers from jurisdictions other than mainland China.

The exemption will be applicable to gross gaming revenue generated by customers from outside mainland China, Macau, Hong Kong or Taiwan.

Macau.- Executive Council spokesperson Cheong Weng Chon has told a media briefing that casino operators will be allowed to build gaming zones exclusive to foreign gamblers. The move will allow them to gain an exemption on a 5 per cent levy on gross gaming revenue from these areas.

The new rules will apply from January 1 2023, when Macau’s new gaming concessions take effect, and aims to encourage casinos to attract customers from jurisdictions other than mainland China, Hong Kong or Taiwan. GGR from the foreign player areas will face the existing 35 per cent tax and not the additional 5 per cent levy

Cheong said it will not be mandatory for foreign players to gamble in the dedicated zone as foreign gamblers will also place bets using different chips.

He said: “It’s like a VIP parlour, but one just for foreign players. Identification documents such as passports have to be presented before entry. However, if the foreign gamblers come on their own, it doesn’t matter which zone they go, it’s up to themselves to decide.”

The regulation is part of the city’s new gaming law that was approved in June. Macau’s GGR tax is 35 per cent of gross income, but an additional levy of up to 5 per cent will be directed to social and other purposes.

Macau’s economy could rebound 46% in 2023, according to Fitch Ratings

Andrew Fennell, Fitch’s head of Greater China sovereigns, has issued a report suggesting that Macau’s economy could rebound by 46 per cent in gross domestic product (GDP) in 2023. This is based on an assumption that gross gaming revenue will recover to half its pre-pandemic level with an easing of mainland travel restrictions boosting the mass market.

However, Macau’s GDP would remain below 2018 levels. Fitch predicts that GDP will not recover to 2019 levels until at least the end of 2025, with a modest non-gaming diversification.

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