Secretary for Economy and Finance Lionel Leong Vai Tac said on Tuesday that the gaming tax rate was not the only factor in determining the local gaming industry’s competitiveness.
Leong made the remarks on the sidelines of a press conference at the Macau Chamber of Commerce about local gaming operators’ procurement partnerships with small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
The policy secretary made the remarks in response to a question by a reporter whether the government planned to reduce the gaming tax rate.
Leong said the city’s services, products, marketing, networking equipment and smart city concept were also contributing to Macau’s international competitiveness.
As the concession and sub-concession agreements of the six local gaming operators are due to expire between 2020 and 2022, Leong said the government would closely observe the local gaming industry’s development trends.“It is important that the industry develops towards excellent quality and integrity and in accordance with the city’s goal of being a world tourism and leisure centre,” said Leong.
When asked about the government’s criteria for the renewal of the government’s gaming concessions and sub-concessions , Leong said residents had made a string of suggestions including the proportion of non-gaming components in the gaming industry, gaming workers’ career prospects and ways to attract more international visitors.
“Certain factors might be crucial, but many aspects need to be considered,” said Leong.
Leong said the government would also monitor new gaming competition in neighbouring regions in order to be prepared for any changes and adjustments needed in the industry.
Macau’s casinos pay 35 per cent of their gross receipts as direct tax to the government, apart from about four per cent in additional dues. Any amendments to the gaming tax system would have to be passed by the legislature to take effect.