There are plans under thought to change Malaysian gambling laws and raise the government’s tax take, it has been revealed. Currently, the country has a budget deficit of 4.5%, a figure the government is keen to address.
Financial market research company RBS Research were the ones to break this piece of gambling news, and their statement read: “We believe there is a possibility of an upward revision in gaming taxes when Budget 2014 is unveiled on October 25 as the government explores ways to beef up its coffers”
Current casino taxation in Malaysia has not changed since 1998, and stands at 25%, while there is also a gaming rate of 8% that was changed at the same time. This is considerably less than casinos in nearby gambling hub, Macau, pay on their takings.
Indeed, in Macau, casinos are taxed at between 38% and 39%, and much like their neighbor they do not have any competition from the internet. online casinos in Malaysia are illegal, with the government also taking measures to block foreign based casinos.
With the Malaysian government currently bringing in between R2.3 billion and R2.7 billion (approximately between $720 million and $850 million), each increase of a single %age point would increase tax take by R39.97 million.
Grace Chew from HongLeong Investment Bank added: “Despite the addition, it only contributes 0.02% additional revenue as the segment only accounts for 0.9% of Malaysia’s total taxes.”
The Asian gambling market is seen as the next big area for growth in the gambling world. With Macau overtaking Las Vegas as the biggest gambling resort in the world, and new casinos due across the region, casino companies are looking to take advantage of an emerging market.
With the 2020 Olympics coming to the region, too, there is sure to be a lot of action in the gambling world over the next decade.