In the Asian capital of gambling Macau, the casino industry is dealing with extremely disappointing gross gaming revenues for the previous period and the main reason behind these rather disappointing financial results is the coronavirus outbreak. As reported by Macau government officials, the government for the area has just revealed that they have no intention of introducing temporary tax relieves.
In other words, the main authority in the city has decided to dismiss suggestions which would bring temporary tax relief and potentially help local casino company to somehow recover from the extremely disappointing financial impacts that the ongoing coronavirus outbreak brought. As reported last month, local casino companies shut down their operations for fifteen days following growing coronavirus fears and the first infected cases recorded in the enclave.
This fifteen-day shutdown period naturally negatively impacted the enclave’s entire gambling industry with the vast majority of the most prominent local gambling companies recording massive decreases in gross gaming revenues not only in February but also in January. According to one report released by Inside Asian Gaming several days ago, local gross gaming revenues for the Macau gambling industry plummeted by around 87.8% on a yearly basis to hit just around $387.2 million last month which is the biggest decline ever recorded.
Massive Taxes on Gross Gaming Revenues
According to the latest official press release by Lei Wai Nong who serves as the enclave’s Economy and Finance Secretary, local gambling operators should not expect any temporary tax breaks. He made this revelation several days back during a press conference which discussed the situation in the enclave regarding the coronavirus strain. The coronavirus strain is a highly contagious viral disease which so far has affected over 106,000 individuals across the globe while the majority of the sufferers being residents of China.
Needless to say, such highly-contagious virus strain has impacted negatively almost every country in the world and Macau is no exception. This includes the city’s prominent gambling industry which has suffered the most. Today, the former Portuguese enclave is home to some of the most iconic, world’s most famous and largest gambling facilities including the Casino Grand Lisboa venue which is operated by the SJM Holdings Limited company.
This venue opened its doors in December of 2008. The gaming floor includes eight hundred gaming tables alongside one thousand slot machines. The hotel area features four hundred and thirty hotel suites and rooms. As other venues of this kind, Casino Grand Lisboa is also required to invest a 35% tax on its gross gaming revenues.
This is not everything as the government of Macau also imposes a yearly duty of around $120 which local casino operators pay for every slot machine that they operate. Moreover, local casino operators also have to invest around $37,400 for every VIP gaming table their facilities include in addition to investing around $18,700 for their companies’ mass-market operations.
Macau Taking Drastic Measures Amid Coronavirus Outbreak Fears
Following the coronavirus outbreak, Macau officials decided to take rather drastic steps in order to prevent the virus from spreading. One of these steps included closing every one of the enclave’s thirty-nine active casinos starting from the 4th of February.
While all of these gambling venues were allowed to re-open fifteen days later, tax breaks could be extremely helpful in assisting these companies with dealing with associated losses. However, Macau officials decided to dismiss such suggestions as they believe the city’s gambling industry can recover quickly as soon as the virus threat subsidies.