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development of the sector and there has not been a reaction by gaming operators or junkets, I think they understood it,” the DICJ director said to the media on the sidelines of the official government reception to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the People’s Republic of China. Mr. Chan also clarified that the instruction “is not a total

prohibition as it is assumed,” since it will be up to the DICJ to authorize cases when there is a data transfer to a location outside Macau SAR or to third parties inside the city jurisdiction. “We will monitor and make small adjustments if it is

necessary […] It is up to us as regulator and watchdog to protect that the data transfer is legitimate,” he added. When asked what prompted the instruction, the DICJ

Director admitted that recent issues concerning proxy betting connected to the Macau gaming industry were one of the factors that led to this instruction. In July, he met with the city’s six gaming concessionaires and issued them a warning, stressing the need to adhere to local and foreign laws on gambling after junket and gaming group Suncity Group was reported by a Chinese state-owned news outlet for offering illegal online gambling and proxy betting to Chinese nationals. At the time, Suncity denied the allegations, saying it neither owns gambling tables nor operates any online gambling activities, but stated it would follow Macau gaming regulations in other jurisdictions. Since August, Chinese authorities have also taken a

tougher stance concerning online gaming operations outside of Macau targeting Chinese players, especially operations linked to the Philippines’ gaming industry. “It is due to everything, [proxy betting] has also been considered. We understand that because in Macau there is a large amount of data collected that should not be transferred to the outside, especially to less legitimate uses,” the DICJ Director said.

22 NOVEMBER 2019

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he Macau government collected a total of MOP76.4 billion (US$9.4 billion) in gaming taxes in the first eight months of this year, a 1.5 per cent year-on- year increase, according to the Financial Service Bureau (DFS).

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In total, the SAR has collected MOP87.7 billion in ax evenue by August, indicating that the gaming

sector had contributed 87.1 per cent of the total. The initial estimates for gaming revenues to be

collected this year were set at about MOP98.2 billion, with 77.8 per cent already received.

VIP revenues expected to keep declining – Suncity

he head of junket operator Suncity Group, Alvin Chau Cheok Wa, has stated to the Chinese-language newspaper Hong Kong Economic Journal that VIP

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gaming revenues in Macau would likely drop by 15 per cent year-on-year in the current quarter and by 20 per cent year-on-year in the last three months of this year. The first half of the year saw the VIP sector generate

MOP71.8 billion (US$8.8 billion), a 14.5 per cent year-on-year drop from the same period of last year, while overall gaming revenues dropped by a slight 0.5 per cent year-on-year to MOP149.50 billion. According to Chau, Chinese central authorities are

actively cracking down on credit loans, with VIP mainland gamblers having reduced their lending through intermediaries and avoiding coming to gamble in Macau out of fear of a possible investigation by authorities. Capital transfer restrictions, the devaluation of the RMB and the slowdown of the Chinese economy on the back of the US-China trade war were also said to have led to an increase in the time required for gamblers to repay their loans.

Gross Fixed Capital up 617pct G

ross Fixed Capital Formation by the gaming sector shoot up 617 per cent year-on-year last year to some MOP6.8 billion, due to the completion of

large-scale tourism and gaming facilities, as well as extensive equipment enhancement projects, said the Statistics and Census Service (DSEC). GFCF concerns the value of total acquisitions of fixed

assets, less the proceeds from sales of fixed assets, with fixed assets including buildings, machinery, vehicles and other equipment, computer software and other durable goods with a usable span of one year or more, as well as major repairs, renovations and extensions made to the existing assets. Meanwhile Gross Value Added – which measures the

sector contribution to the local economy – went up 13.6 per cent year-on-year to MOP203.38 billion, the highest value since 2014.

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