Macau gaming tax revenue as of July has only reached 44 percent of the projected annual budget, according to figures released by the Financial Services Bureau.

Gaming tax revenue came in at MOP22.20 billion ($2.7 billion), compared with MOP22.10 billion in the same period of 2020. The target for this year is currently at MOP50 billion.

Macau’s gaming revenue makes up almost 80 percent of the government’s total projected budget this year of MOP63.03 billion.

Total taxes collected as of July were MOP28.64 billion, or 48 percent of the projected total.

The figures suggest Macau’s gaming revenue will need to accelerate significantly in the remaining months of the year for the government to come anywhere near its annual target.

For August GGR came in at MOP4.44 billion ($555 million), which is up 234 percent from the same month last year, but down 82 percent from 2019 prior to the crisis.

The recovery of Macau’s gaming sector has been slower-than-expected, with the first local outbreak of Covid in more than 500 days in early August and new outbreaks in China, putting the brakes on GGR. Analysts are not now expecting revenue to get back to the levels it was enjoying in April and May until at least October.

Most now say they see meaningful recovery from 4Q21, but hope further travel restrictions will be lifted have now been pushed back until 2022. The market is looking for the resumption of e-visas for individual visit schemes and group visas to help propel GGR closer to pre-pandemic levels.