Special Report – Foreigner-only gaming zones, the novelty

More than a novelty, these areas unique to foreigners are authentic. It stays to be seen what the efficient influence is
Macau Business | January 2024 | Special Report | New gaming concessions – The first yr (and past)

In December 2022, the authorities introduced an administrative regulation referred to as “Regulations on the implementation of the discount on gross gaming income of the concessionaire,” which goals to operate as a reduction of as much as 5 per cent of gross gaming income (GGR) on international charges payable by concessionaires.
This means, if guests holding a overseas passport gamble in the areas that every operator has reserved of their casinos, concessionaries can obtain a tax break on revenues generated.
Although it’s not clear what the Government’s goal was, these foreigner-solely gaming zones have been one in every of the fundamental novelties of the competitors that has been in drive since January final yr.
Just do not forget that, on the opposite, Singapore created unique areas for its residents to gamble in the native built-in resorts.
In the case of Macau, it’s not clear whether or not these unique zones intend to contribute to attracting extra overseas vacationers or whether or not, as defined by the Director of the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ), Adriano Marques Ho, “Chips in the designated zone are foreigner-solely in order that the DICJ can study the GGR generated by overseas gamblers.”
In different phrases, it appears to be extra a query of metrics and finding out traits.

Macau-based scholar Ryan Ho provides: “With the developments in gaming expertise, the integration of sensible tables and RFID-enabled chips into frontline operations has already revolutionised the gaming trade. Looking ahead, these modern applied sciences allow operators to trace and audit the gaming periods of gamers from totally different nationalities with better accuracy, guaranteeing compliance with tax and regulatory necessities.”
“Gaming concessionaires shall determine overseas prospects in accordance with the measures authorised by DICJ and shall set up a database to retailer supporting paperwork and knowledge required to be submitted to DICJ for granting the waiver,” additionally in accordance the regulator.
DICJ defined to Macau Business  that “at current, every contracting firm has arrange [at least] a particular space for overseas vacationers and has adopted measures authorised by the DICJ to determine overseas vacationers and the gross gaming income generated.”
Regarding requests for exemption and discount from concessionaires, DICJ “will observe-up procedures in accordance with related legal guidelines and rules”, after the authorities receives the respective purposes.
From what Macau Business can verify, these requests will probably be made throughout this primary quarter, when the accounts for 2023 are closed. It isn’t clear whether or not all operators will submit purposes, as a result of in some circumstances the enterprise quantity could also be residual.
Sign of this, no point out has been made in Macau’s 2024 fiscal yr funds, identified final month, concerning the chance of rebate on gross gaming income tax for bets made by overseas gamers.
“The present tax incentives can play a major function in encouraging the improvement of the overseas vacationer market. This initiative creates a good surroundings for operators to put money into attracting and serving overseas vacationers” – Ryan Ho
Still, Ryan Ho understands that “the present tax incentives can play a major function in encouraging the improvement of the overseas vacationer market. This initiative creates a good surroundings for operators to put money into attracting and serving overseas vacationers. The institution of foreigner-solely gaming serves as a present measure to make sure the profitable implementation of this gaming coverage,” says the lecturer at the Center for Gaming and Tourism Studies, Macao Polytechnic University.
In the center of final yr, it was identified that there have been 12 areas for overseas gamblers, lots of them in VIP rooms that have been allotted to junkets.
And, by some means, the relationship with the outdated VIP rooms is sensible, since, as Carlos Siu Lam, Centre for Gaming and Tourism Studies, Macao Polytechnic University, argues, “in contrast to earlier than, gamblers these days could not prefer to gamble for a chronic time period. They could desire to gamble and relaxation for some time with high quality eating or SPA. If the gaming operator can deliver of their favourite efficiency or enjoyable therapeutic massage, this may increasingly assist maintain them keep longer in the property.”
“With such a mixture of merchandise and very good service, such property has managed to create one thing spectacular for the patrons, who would recurrently return for the property’s repeated enterprise,” explains Professor Siu to Macau Business.
What stays to be seen is whether or not, for instance, the South Korean vacationer needs to gamble in a room with solely South Koreans, even with VIP therapy, or whether or not he prefers to maneuver round the areas obtainable on this on line casino.

Private charters

About a yr in the past, some gaming operators, buoyed by the newly inked concession contracts, introduced their readiness to make the most of non-public constitution flights for transporting overseas vacationers.
When Macau Business inquired with CAM – Macau International Airport Company concerning data of such flights, it responded that “there are not any additional information to point out the variety of constitution flights which have been organized by these gaming operators, as they may chartered by totally different constitution firms and are involved about confidential info.”
It was additionally found that there was a complete of 760 enterprise jet actions at the Macau International Airport from January to the finish of October 2023. This represents a staggering 208 per cent improve in comparison with the identical interval the earlier yr. However, it’s necessary to notice that this determine displays solely a 31.6 per cent improve when in comparison with the corresponding interval in 2019.
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