Macau, China, 12 Nov – Around a quarter of Macau’s 2009 budget, estimated at 44.7 billion patacas (US$5.58 billion), will be used for investments and costs relating to developing the region, according to official figures announced Tuesday night.
The 10.5 billion pataca (US$1.3 billion) figure set aside for investment represents 2.12 billion patacas (US$265 million) more than the amount budgeted for the current year.
The largest part of the government’s forecasted 41 billion patacas (US$5.1 billion) in revenue comes from Macau’s 31 casinos.
Macau Chief Executive Edmund Ho Hau Wah spoke during a press conference Tuesday and said that as part of the 2009 budget, the government forecasted that gross revenue from casinos at 7 billion patacas (US$ 875 million) per month. This represents a slight drop when compared to the current year, which, according to monthly average figures so far, is 8 billion patacas (US$1 billion) per month.
In the first nine months of the year, gaming and gambling revenue in Macau came to 84.695 billion patacas (US$10.586 billion), more than the amount posted for all of 2007, when this figure came to 83.022 billion patacas (US$10.586 billion).
Confronted with a global financial crisis, Edmund Ho focused his concern on small and medium-sized companies that need support to breathe life back into them and to ensure their survival, and added that he wants to increase work on diversifying markets and products.
Ho ruled out any attempts to solve eventual problems of gaming operators, such as Las Vegas Sands, which is experiencing financial difficulties and has already announced the suspension of construction work. However, Ho said that the casinos “will not close their doors”, and added that if there are any problems, the government will act to make sure they keep running.
Ho is also concerned with its social policy for 2009, and said that it aims to “share financial success” of the region and ensured that he will continue to manage the region with the same effort and desire to improve and develop Macau.
The areas that will benefit the most with the 2009 budget is health (2.44 billion patacas), education and youth affairs (2.1 billion patacas), social security (2.3 billion patacas), security forces (2.1 billion patacas), Commercial Development Fund (2.2 billion patacas), Civic and Municipal Affairs Institute (1.2 billion patacas) and the Macau Foundation with 2.49 billion patacas.
Edmund Ho Hau Wah, who ends his term in office on 19 December 2009 as the Chief Executive of Macau, said that the Special Administrative Region of Macau’s next government will receive over 70 billion patacas (US$ 8.75 billion).
“In addition to the Land Fund, which this year is expected to come to 12.2 billion patacas (US$1.52 billion) and in 2009 is expected to come to 13 billion patacas (US$1.62 billion), there will be an additional 50 billion patacas (US$ 6.25 billion) from the accumulated balance, as well as part of this year’s 20 billion pataca (US$2.5 billion) surplus,” said Edmund Ho.