Chief Executive Says Macau Will Likely Keep Running a Deficit into 2024
MACAU, SAR (August 14, 2023) — Macau will likely keep running a deficit into 2024, Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng said during a Q&A session at the Legislative Assembly last Friday.
The territory’s top official said that an annual gross gaming revenue (GGR) of 230 billion patacas would be required to generate sufficient tax revenue to balance the books, the Macau Post Daily reported.
Macao’s gaming concessionaires pay 35 percent of their revenues to the government, which requires at least 100 billion patacas to cover annual essential expenditures.
The government is targeting 130 billion patacas in GGR this year, which would create a shortfall of nearly 36 billion patacas. However, some analysts say the figure could hit 180 billion patacas, reducing the deficit.
Ho said that if GGR reached 200 billion patacas next year, the budget deficit could be as low as 10 billion patacas, and remained hopeful that a balanced budget would return in 2025.
He attributed the ongoing deficit to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on gaming, tourism and real estate transactions, which are another important source of revenue. He also cautioned that the handouts given to residents to alleviate hardship during the pandemic could not continue if the territory was to achieve a balanced budget.
SOURCE: Macau Post Daily.Tags: gross gaming revenue (GGR), Macau SAR, gaming, COVID-19 pandemic