Macau finalized gaming bill that would raise tax rates. Also, it would give officials more oversight of the gambling industry. The bill’s final draft came before the government signs a six-month license extension for casinos on June 23.
The moves are normal in front of casino license terminations due this month. Furthermore, the extension to December 31 permits the additional opportunity for an exceptionally anticipated rebidding process in the Chinese special administrative district. Also, it is the only region in China where casinos are legal.
Lawmakers are likely to approve Macau’s casino bill. According to live dealer casino experts, it is the most significant change in twenty years for the previous Portuguese state.
Macau Finalized Gaming Bill
The final version of the casino bill is like the initial draft published in January. However, the tax on casinos increased from 39 percent to 40 percent. The good news is that the chief executive can lower the tax rate by five percent. The condition is that operators need to attract more non-mainland Chinese players. In addition, they need to compete against the best online casinos in Korea, which players preferred during the pandemic.
Casino operators should have 5 billion patacas or around $618 million in their operating funds during the ten-year license period.
Sands China, Wynn Macau, Galaxy Entertainment, MGM China, and Melco Resorts have the required amount. On the other hand, SJM Holdings needs to increase its liquidity. The bill requires operators to pay 47 million patacas or around $6 million for the license extension.
In 2019, Macau earned $36.5 billion from casinos. The revenue was over six times as much as the Las Vegas strip casinos.
Starting around 2020, Macau casinos have been wounded by Covid travel limitations that lowered foreign tourists going into the city. Thus, casino house edge failed to earn higher revenue during the pandemic. Also, Beijing cracked down on the junket industry.
Beijing worried about Macau’s dependence on gambling. However, lawmakers haven’t indicated how they will conduct the rebidding process.