In Macau, the government’s fiscal surplus for the first six months of 2017 reportedly increased by 15.3% year-on-year to stand at about $2.5 billion thanks in large part to a corresponding 14.2% rise in half-year tax revenues from gaming to $5.6 billion.

According to a report from GGRAsia citing provisional figures from the Financial Services Bureau, tax officials in the former Portuguese enclave collected six-month revenues of just over $6.8 billion, which represented a rise of 14.2% year-on-year, with some 82.5% of these coming from gaming.

Macau levies an effective tax rate of 39% on all of its casinos’ gross gaming revenues and its government earlier conservatively predicted that total takings for 2017 would reach in excess of $24.89 billion, which would give it approximately $8.94 billion with which to spend on public projects and services.

However, government expenditure during the first six months of 2017 rose by 13.6% year-on-year to slightly above $4.3 billion although a spending rate of only 40.7% means that its surplus remains more than three times higher than the full-year forecast of $692.2 million.

GGRAsia additionally reported that half-year aggregated gross gaming revenues for the over 30 casinos in Macau stood at about $15.7 billion, which is a swell of 17.2% year-on-year, with June’s figure advancing by an impressive 25.9% to almost $2.5 billion. This performance purportedly prompted Japanese brokerage firm Nomura Holdings Incorporated to declare that the sector had posted a “solid second quarter” before lifting its growth estimate by three percentage points to 15%.