The city’s top finance official said on Monday that the government would have to retrench its expenditure if the city’s gross gaming revenue fails to bounce back to at least 20 billion patacas next month.
Secretary for Economy and Finance Lionel Leong Vai Tac made the remark on the sidelines of an opening ceremony on Hengqin Island.
Leong was one of the officiating guests at Monday’s opening ceremony of the Hengqin Entrepreneurship Valley for Macau Youth. Former chief executive Edmund Ho Hau Wah also attended the event.
Asked by reporters about the city’s gaming gross revenue and a possible spending squeeze, Leong said he expected casinos’ June gross revenues to range between 16 billion and 16.5 billion patacas.
The official revenue figures are slated to be released by the Gaming Inspection and Co-ordination Bureau (DICJ) on Wednesday.
Leong’s portfolio includes supervision of the gaming industry.
“As I have mentioned before the gaming revenue accumulated to about 104 billion patacas in the first five months. If the gaming revenue amounts to 16 billion patacas this month the monthly average gross gaming revenue [for the first six months] should be 20 billion patacas, which is the government’s expected average gross gaming revenue a month, therefore there would be no need to retrench [the government’s spending],” Leong said,
He added: “But if the casino gross revenue fails to bounce back to 20 billion patacas from [the expected] 16 billion patacas [this month], definitely the government will have to retrench [spending].”
The policy secretary did not elaborate on what the government would do to retrench its spending.
The policy secretary, who was a businessman before taking up his post as one of the government’s five policy secretaries last December, said previously said that the retrenchment measures would cover all public entities which each would possibly need to freeze their spending by a certain percentage. (macaunews/macaupost)