The Macau Special Administrative Region (SAR) government anticipates a resurgence in the local casino sector, projecting it to generate a total of MOP216 billion (approximately $27 billion) in gross gaming revenue for the year 2024. This revival is expected to bolster Macau SAR’s financial position, allowing it to once again record a surplus.
Attributing this optimism to the increasing number of tourists from mainland China and other regions and countries, Macau SAR authorities estimate that the government will accrue approximately MOP107 billion ($13.3 billion) in public revenue while incurring MOP105.9 billion ($13.18 billion) in expenditure in the forthcoming year, resulting in a surplus of MOP1.1 billion ($124.34 million), Macau Business reported.
According to the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, the casino industry recorded gross gaming revenue of MOP19.5 billion ($2.42 billion) in October, setting a new post-Covid record as it reached over 73% of the revenue levels seen in 2019. The October results have had a positive impact on the overall gaming revenue for the year 2023, bringing it to approximately MOP148.45 billion ($18.43 billion), or about 60% compared to 2019.
Macau Special Administrative Region Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng had set an ambitious estimate for the gambling hub in August, stating that Macau had the potential to achieve between MOP170 billion and MOP180 billion ($21.1- $22.35 billion) in gaming revenue by the year’s end. The October figures mark a significant step toward this goal.
The proposed 2024 budget legislation, disclosed in the Legislative Assembly, outlines the necessity for the SAR’s treasury to collect MOP75.6 billion ($9.4 billion) in gambling taxes throughout the next year. The authorities are confident that, due to this favorable fiscal recovery, it won’t be necessary to dip into the city’s financial reserves to plug financial gaps, a strategy frequently employed during the pandemic years.
In August, the Macau Monetary Authority disclosed that the financial reserves of Macau SAR saw an increase of over MOP1 billion ($124 million), reaching approximately MOP570 billion ($70.87 billion).
The budget report underscores the presence of ongoing uncertainties in the global economic landscape, which may pose potential risks to the local economy. In light of this, the government will prioritize the requirements of vulnerable groups while maintaining the standard and quality of public services. The budget also confirms the continuation of austerity measures and staff control measures in the coming year to ensure the stability of public finances.
Furthermore, given the substantial reduction in expenditures related to health and epidemic prevention, as well as associated financial aid measures, the government will make appropriate adjustments to its resource allocation in the public sector infrastructure, thereby reinforcing the groundwork for economic recovery and future development.