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Asia round-up: PAGCOR funds new MPEC, 2021 Macau gaming tax report & more

PAGCOR will fund a permanent evacuation facility

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PAGCOR has initiated a P50m ($973,112) Multi-Purpose Evacuation Center (MPEC) in Victoria town that will serve as a temporary shelter.

Prior to the opening of the MPEC in Victoria, PAGCOR had awarded P125.4m to four local government units, so that they can begin the construction of evacuation centres in their respective locations.

PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Andrea Domingo commented: “As PAGCOR expands the reach of its MPEC project, we feel a sense of pride and fulfilment because we know our efforts to contribute to nation-building are not in vain. This project will not only help save lives of locals in calamity-prone areas but will also serve as a venue for empowering communities.”

Victoria Municipal Mayor Christian Tell Yap said: “We are grateful to PAGCOR for bringing these kinds of projects to municipalities that have financial difficulties in procuring these facilities.”

In total, PAGCOR has granted P1.74bn for the construction of 72 MPECs in several parts of the country.

Macau gaming tax report for 2021

Macau’s Financial Services Bureau has published its gaming tax report for 2021, showing MOP$33.91bn ($4.22bn) in gaming tax for the year.

The number represents a 14% increase over the amount collected for 2020; however, it falls short of the MOP$50bn that was expected.

This project will not only help save lives of locals in calamity-prone areas but will also serve as a venue for empowering communitiesPAGCOR CEO Andrea Domingo

According to the annual budget for 2022, gaming tax should amount to MOP$49.76bn. The Government has already collected a gaming tax of MOP$4.26bn for January, a 1.5% increase year-on-year.

According to the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, the final gaming tax figure for 2021 represents a 44% improvement compared to 2020, but a 70% decrease compared to 2019.

Gross gaming revenue suffered during 2021 because of the ongoing border restrictions. Data showed a visitor tally of less than eight million for 2021, representing an 80% decrease compared to 2019.

Regulator says Crown Sydney could open soon

According to a statement from the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority, the casino regulator in New South Wales, the casino at the Crown Sydney resort has a chance to open in the following weeks.

A spokesperson of the regulator commented: “It is anticipated that the Authority may permit Crown to commence gaming on a conditional basis in the next few weeks."

Crown added: “While no official opening date has been confirmed in relation to the opening of gaming in Sydney, Crown is targeting to be in a position to announce the opening of the gaming floor shortly.”

NSW Government welcomes first wave of international visitors

A total of 27 flights (from the US, Japan, Singapore, Canada, New Zealand and Fiji), amounting to around 5,000 passengers, have passed through Sydney International Airport during the weekend.

The arrivals were greeted with music and imagery from the Destination NSW Feel New tourism campaign; and NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet suggested the return of foreign visitors would boost tourism, travel and investment.

Prior to Covid, NSW’s visitor economy was among the largest in Australia, with an annual contribution of AU$38bn ($27bn), and supporting more than 100,000 businesses and around 300,000 jobs.

All foreign tourists that arrive in Australia have to provide proof they are double-vaccinated. Unvaccinated travellers are required to apply for a travel exemption and undergo hotel quarantine for seven days, if they are to be granted permission to enter the country.

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