Macau may hike taxes when licenses renewed

Macau may choose to hike gaming taxes, already the highest in Asia, once the government renews the licenses for concessionaires, CLSA analyst Aaron Fischer was cited as saying.
He said he expects all six current operators to see their licenses renewed and the possibility of one extra license perhaps being granted to a local company.
He sees the gaming tax rate rising from 39 percent to 43 percent.
CLSA is predicting another tough year for Macau in 2015, with gross gambling revenue likely to drop 9 percent, after a 2.6 percent decline in 2014.
Fischer, like most other analysts sees the first half of 2015 being particularly weak, before GGR begins to improve in the second half. He predicts a recovery in 2016 as new properties come on line.
“2016 will be a fantastic year. We think revenues will increase in 2016 by 22 percent,” he was cited as saying.
Galaxy Entertainment will be the first out of the gate with its Galaxy Macau Phase 2 expansion due to open mid-2015. That will be followed by Melco Crown Entertainment’s Studio City property.
The new projects will lead to a 70 percent increase in new hotel capacity in the gambling hub.