The Macao SAR Government will take another MOP$19.7 billion (US$2.44 billion) from its fiscal reserves to help fund its fight against COVID-19 after revealing Monday that its gaming tax take for the first six months of 2022 totalled just MOP$11.1 billion (US$1.37 billion).
Macau’s Legislative Assembly (AL) will hold a video conference this Thursday 21 July to examine a revision of its official 2022 budget, which will also represent the first time the AL has held a plenary session in video format.
The government said, “Since June, the impact of the COVID-19 has increased the pressure on the economy, with gambling revenue from January to June amounting to only MOP$26.27 billion (US$3.25 billion) and accumulated gaming tax revenue of only MOP$11.1 billion.”
At the beginning of the year, the government estimated that GGR would reach MOP$130 billion (US$16.1 billion) in 2022, but COVID-19 has rendered that figure impossible to achieve.
With two MOP$10 billion (US$1.24 billion) assistance measures already planned to be implemented to make up for the shortfall in GGR, an additional MOP$35.2 billion (US$4.36 billion) will be added to Macau’s “Excess Reserves” and another MOP$19.7 billion (US$2.44 billion) to fund the anti-COVID measures.
This come after the government used MOP$37.5 billion (US$4.64 billion) in reserves in April. Together with the MOP$35.2 billion in excess reserves being accessed this time, the Macau government will use MOP$72.7 billion (US$9.0 billion) in fiscal reserves this year, while total expenditure is estimated to reach MOP$126.5 billion (US$15.7 billion).
As of the end of 2021, the capital amount of Macau’s fiscal reserves stood at MOP$643.2 billion (US$79.6 billion) with basic reserves at MOP$139.1 billion (US$17.2 billion) and an excess reserve amount of MOP$504.1 billion (US$62.4 billion).