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Macau government forecasts fall in gaming revenues in budget review

Macau government forecasts fall in gaming revenues in budget review

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Ho Lat Seng, Head of the Government of Macau, has announced that the territory’s economic recovery has been frustrated by further cases of Covid-19 in August and September, and that gaming revenues fell by over 47% in the month of August. The government had forecast to collect about $16.2bn in gambling taxes this year, but the detection of these further cases in August and September “ended up frustrating the recovery”, according to Seng. Gambling is the driving force of the territory’s economy and in addition to this August fall in revenues, as a result of proposed new regulations announced earlier in September, casino stocks in Macau fluctuated wildly. The prospect of the appointment of Chinese representatives to supervise Macau companies, have led to operators in the enclave seeing stock values fall by $18bn in mid-September, due to ongoing uncertainties. In August and September, Macau went into a state of immediate prevention, with mass testing of the population after authorities deemed the territory was at risk of experiencing a community outbreak of Covid-19 following confirmation that two positive tests at a quarantine hotel. Government restrictions drove visitors away, crippling an economy depends on tourism and the associated gambling industry. Even prior to these new restrictions, Macau’s casino operators had voiced serious concerns about any proposed new gaming law revisions. Representatives of Sands China, Wynn Macau, Galaxy Entertainment, MGM China, Melco Resorts and SJM Holdings met with the government and asked for voiced their concerns and asked for clarity. Wynn’s CEO, Matthew Maddox, commented: “We employ 15,000 people there. We are good corporate citizens, and I have a very bullish view of the future of Macao and what we are going to see going forward. What is going in Macao is not punitive; it is practical. They are