Asia round-up: Macau’s poor returns; ACMA’s request, Tabcorp & more

Figures from Macau’s Financial Services Bureau reveal that its Government has collected MOP244.4m ($30.2m) from direct taxes related to gaming for August 2022.

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August: Macau Government collects MOP244.4m in gaming tax 

Figures from Macau’s Financial Services Bureau reveal that its Government has collected MOP244.4m ($30.2m) from direct taxes related to gaming for August 2022.

Taxes received by Macau’s Government are lower than usual, given that casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) for July only reached MOP398m, a result of intermittent lockdown policies and a legislative persistence to restrict travel.  

This June, direct tax on gambling operations in Macau stood just below MOP1.31bn. 

Most recently, Macau was closed between 11 July and 22 July 2022 as a countermeasure to rising cases of Covid-19 in the region. 

The tax rate on casino GGR is 39% in Macau; 35% of which goes straight to Government coffers while 4% is used to pay for good causes in the community. 

Recently, Macau has revised its gaming tax rate to increase welfare spending, with many of its residents suffering throughout the global pandemic.  

“We want to be customer obsessed in everything we do, and this is the first of what will be regular upgrades of our app to transform the digital wagering experience for punters” Adam Rytenskild, Tabcorp CEO

ACMA requests further ISP blocks

Australia’s media and communications watchdog has called on internet service providers (ISPs) to block more offshore gambling websites. 

Following a round of block requests in mid-August, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has found a further 15 platforms in breach of the law. 

Specifically, an ACMA investigation found the identified websites in breach of the Interactive Gambling Act 2001. 

As a result, it has asked ISPs to prevent Australian users from accessing websites such as Spin Oasis, Fab Spins, RB Carnival and The GoGo Room. 

Since the ACMA made its first block request in November 2019, 614 illegal gambling and affiliate sites have been blocked. 

In addition, over 180 illegal services have withdrawn from the Australian market since the ACMA began enforcing new offshore gambling rules in 2017. 

The watchdog advised customers to avoid using unlicensed platforms, commenting: “The ACMA is reminding consumers that even if a service looks legitimate, it’s unlikely to have important customer protections. 

“This means Australians who use illegal gambling services risk losing their money.” 

Tabcorp's “digital transformation” 

Tabcorp has released the first version of its new wagering app.

Australian bettors can now download and place bets using the Tab app, which is built on Google’s open source “Flutter” software. 

As a result, it is now faster to place a bet and easier to access personal betting information, among other new features. 

CEO Adam Rytenskild highlighted Tabcorp’s customer-centric outlook, whose feedback he said was used to develop the new app. 

“We want to be customer obsessed in everything we do and this is the first of what will be regular upgrades of our app to transform the digital wagering experience for punters,” he commented. 

Rytenskild continued: “We’ve listened to our customers and our new app has been developed with the feedback of punters front of mind.” 

“The ACMA is reminding consumers that even if a service looks legitimate, it’s unlikely to have important customer protections. This means Australians who use illegal gambling services risk losing their money” Australian Communications and Media Authority, Official Statement

MGTO cautious on expected numbers for Golden Week 

The director of Macau’s Government Tourism Office (MTGO), Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, has expressed trepidation at the prospect of a mass influx of tourists for the upcoming national holiday, Golden Week.  

The week-long holiday includes National Day on 1 October 2022 but Fernandes, on behalf of the MGTO, has revealed she does not expect an influx of tourism.  

This is primarily due to the quarantine measures and travel restrictions still in place in Macau, which make travel to and from the region difficult.  

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