Macau’s decision to provide a gaming tax incentive to operators attracting foreign customers into the peninsula will not guarantee positive results for the industry, according to gaming experts. That’s despite Macau becoming the first gaming location in Asia to introduce such a scheme.

Macau’s tax rate for casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) is currently set at 35%, but operators are required to pay an additional 5% for social causes.

Change In Policy Will Not Have Major Impact

Under new gaming laws, casino operators could avoid paying the extra 5% levy if they attract customers from overseas. The Macau government, headed by the chief executive, will still have the final say on its implementation. But gaming consultant David Green, who formerly provided advice to the Macau government on casino-market liberation, doubts if such a policy would work.

He said there needs to be transparency, certainty, and fairness as to the calculation of the rate reduction, adding that lawmakers should consider implementing a progressive rate reduction with specified threshold metrics.

Macau’s Tax Rate Still High

Wang Changbin, director of the Centre for Gaming and Tourism Studies at the Macao Polytechnic University also said that even if the government proceeds with rolling out the tax incentive, it still doesn’t hide the fact that Macau has one of the highest gaming tax rates in the world. He said it isn’t enough to just introduce tax reductions to draw more customers from abroad, as there are other factors that the government must consider, including culture and location.