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Gaming tax revenue seen to rise 15%
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2006-12-30 12:29

Macau's gaming tax revenue will likely increase 15 percent in 2006, the city's Chief Executive Edmond Ho said yesterday, as new casinos opened in the city.

The city's gaming tax revenue may exceed 19 billion patacas (US$2.4 billion) this year, while total tax revenue will reach 27 billion patacas, Ho said at a press briefing in Beijing. Macau took in 16.56 billion patacas in gaming taxes in 2005, Bloomberg News said.

Casino companies have been investing in the southern Chinese city since its government opened its gaming market to foreign operators, betting gamblers will flock to the city, the only place in China where casino gaming is legal. Wynn Resorts Ltd launched a US$1.2 billion hotel-casino on September 6, and Las Vegas Sands Corp opened the city's first Las-Vegas style casino in 2004.

"Macau still has a long way to go in truly diversifying its economic structure, though non-gaming industries have experienced healthy growth in 2006," Ho said.

Gaming taxes collected by the Macau government will likely fall to 70 percent of the city's total tax revenue in 2006, from more than 80 percent in previous years, Ho said.

The Macau government will extend policy support in 2007 to help boost the city's retail, hotel and restaurant industries, as well as its small- and medium-enterprises, he said, without elaborating.

Source:Shanghai Daily 
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