Chief executive Ho Iat Seng has addressed concerns over austerity measures.
Macau.- Ho Iat Seng, Macau’s chief executive, has forecast that the city’s gaming revenue for 2023 could reach MOP180bn (US$22.3bn). His comment was made during a special session at the Legislative Assembly, in which Ho addressed concerns about ongoing austerity measures stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ho said that the government still expects a budget deficit in 2023, unless gaming taxes reach MOP230bn (US$28.5bn). In response to concerns raised by legislator Agnes Lam, Ho said that while the government seeks a 5 per cent reduction in departmental expenses, livelihood benefits, including for education and medical expenses, would remain untouched.
For full-year 2022, Macau’s casino GGR decreased by 51.4 per cent year-on-year to MOP42.19bn (US$5.25bn). In the first half of 2023, GGR amounted to MOP96.8bn (US$12bn) – 61 per cent of the government’s full-year prediction. The figure was 55.6 per cent of the volume recorded in H1 2019.