Macau budget for 2019 approved, game accounts for 80.5% of revenue

The Macau Legislative Assembly today approved the Budget for 2019, which estimates that the tax on gambling represents 80.5% of total revenue, but below the amount collected in 2014.

An opinion from the 2nd Permanent Commission of LA, moreover, says that “in the economic years from 2014 to 2019 the Government’s ordinary integrated revenue fell, on average, 4%“, something that contrasts with the growth in the last six years, on average, by 11.4% in integrated ordinary expenditure.

If compared to 2014, the peak of gaming revenues, the integrated revenue of the Budget for 2019 is lower than the actual integrated revenue of 2014,” from MOP 161.88 billion [17.7 billion euros] to 122.38 billion patacas, almost 40 billion patacas less, according to the opinion.

On November 15, 2018, the Budget for 2019 was presented by the Government of Macau and was approved unanimously by the 32 deputies present.

On that same date, an analysis that served as the basis for today’s vote was distributed for analysis in the speciality and issue of opinion until December 11.

In this opinion, the Government of Macao predicts a 13.3% increase in revenue from the integrated regular budget compared to the budget forecast for 2018, especially the special tax on gambling, which has a greater weight in the order of 91 billion of patacas.

Expenditure is estimated to be 2.2% higher than last year, to which a series of subsidy, support and subsidy measures are contributing. On the other hand, the Macao Government also proposed the maintenance and creation of new tax benefits, valued at MOP4.46 billion.

In the same document, it is noted that in the comparison with 2018, the Budget for 2019 shows an increase of 2.2% in integrated ordinary expenditure, 9% in current expenditure and a 14.9% reduction in capital expenditures.

The aggregate expenditure of special agencies increased by 10.5% and that of aggregate investment by special agencies by 54.6%.

Compared to the initial budget of 2018, the AL commission had the highest increases in expenditure on social and community services (18.7%), general public services (10.2%), education (10.7%) and general public services (10.1%), with a decrease of 27.5% in the area of justice, order and security.

In total, the Macau Government’s ordinary expenditure amounts to 103.34 billion patacas, which includes current expenses of 78.89 billion and capital expenditures in the order of 24.44 billion patacas.

In the analysis of the Budget for 2019 contained in the opinion, the weight of the subsidies and allowances for expenses, especially for foundations, associations and organizations (MOP 8.7 billion), which represents around a third of more than half are directed to families and individuals (14.64 billion patacas).

In today’s plenary session, four bills were passed in the area, namely the one that aims to end offshore companies and offshore bank accounts, in response to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) requirements.

In this sense, the authorizations to exercise the offshore activity should expire on January 1, 2021, if they have not ceased before that date.

In July, China approved the integration of Macao into the OECD tax convention, which came into force in September.

At the end of last year, the European Union even pointed to this special Chinese administrative region as one of 17 non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes but reversed the decision a month later.

Greenlight also for the bill that prohibits all casino staff from entering the spaces intended for the game. Officials and under 21 are currently barred from these places.

We never intend to decriminalize or produce stigma,” said Secretary for Economy and Finance Lionel Leong, who said the new law “protects workers“.

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