On Friday, July 21, the Macau government disclosed that it had accumulated a total of MOP$26.8 billion, which is approximately US$3.33 billion, in gaming tax income during the first six months of 2023, a 107% growth on the MOP$12.94 billion, or roughly US$1.61 billion, it generated in the same period last year.

A strong performance in June helped the overall result:

More precise information on this has been published by the Financial Services Bureau. It provided info showing that “the 1H23 tax figure was aided by a strong result in June, when tax revenue reached around MOP$6.0 billion (US$746 million). This was improved from MOP$5.7 billion (US$708 million) in May and the highest since Macau’s borders reopened on 8 January 2023.”  Additionally, gaming tax profits during the first six months represent 52.7% of the government’s MOP$50.85 billion (US$6.30 billion) FY23 budget.

Furthermore, the total income collected by the government during June was MOP$33.3 billion (US$4.14 billion), which means that gaming tax accounted for 80.5% of Macau-wide revenue in that period. This comes as Macau reportedly generated MOP$5.5 billion (US$681 million) in gross gaming revenue for the first 11 days of June, up from US$62 million a day compared to a recent average of US$56 million. However, the June tax amount is linked to the May GGR.

Fantastic May gaming gross figures:

After the COVID-19 pandemic, the region lost much of its power as one of the main centers of the South Asian area as its main profit came from tourists from China and Hong Kong. For a long time, tourists could not enter Macau, which greatly reduced the gross gaming revenue in the region. However, the situation seems to have changed with the easing of the COVID-19 measures that occurred in January 2023. The industry’s performance has been improving since then, as evidenced by the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau which revealed that gross gaming revenue has been steadily increasing, reaching MOP$14.72 (US$1.82 billion) in April and MOP$15.57 billion (US$1.93 billion) in May.

On a related note, JP Morgan‘s analysts DS Kim and Mufan Shi said: “ The changes were incrementally positive and we wouldn’t be surprised if full recovery (mass/non-gaming GGR going back to 2019 levels) happens sometime in 2H23, much earlier than our current model of mid-2024.

“2Q results release will coincide with the summer holiday season – which will be the first holiday since reopening with no hotel/labor constraints, by which time we hope investment sentiment will stabilize to appreciate bottom-up fundamental improvements.”