At a meeting with members of the Adminstrators Association and Gaming Industry Promotors, the candidate for Macauís Chief Executive, Chui Sai On, said he will study gaming tax issues and the declining gaming revenues. The meeting today was part of campaign activities that commenced on 11 July. Chui would not commit to a reduction in tax but said he was aware of the decline in visitor numbers and growing competition with an expanding gaming industry in Asia.
Gaming tax at present accounts for more than 70% of the Macau governmentís revenue and casinos pay nearly 40% of their total revenue to the government. Earlier this month Chui commented that he intends to regulate the pace and development of the casino industry in Macau. He added that competitiveness in Asia should be maintained and the gaming law should be revised and optimised to create a better environment for the gaming business.
Both Galaxy Entertainment and Las Vegas Sands have delayed development projects in Macau and the newly opened Melco Crown Entertainment property, City of Dreams, had a disappointing first month in June. In the six months to June gross gaming revenue in Macau dropped 12% year-on-year, partly due to the global financial crisis and partly because of visa restrictions imposed by the Chinese authorities. (E-07.15.09)
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