Macaus casino tax income soars - Friday 12th of August 2005

Macaus income from direct gaming tax rose 23.4 percent year-on-year in the first seven months of this year, according to statistics issued in Macau Monday.

Statistics released by the Finance Service Bureau showed that the gaming tax reached 9.5 billion patacas (US$1.19 billion) during this period.

The direct gaming tax payments made up 76.2 percent of the governments total income between January and July.

Macaus 17 casinos pay 35 percent of their gross revenues as direct tax to the government, according to the official figures.

With a population of nearly 470,000, Macau is the only region in China where casinos are legal. Local observers expect the number of casinos to exceed 20 within the next two years.

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