Malaysia: RHB says surge in casino duties unlikely to happen amidst the Covid-19

RHB Investment Bank aren't anticipating an increase as Genting Malaysia is still in recovery from the financial hit of the pandemic

In a report by The Edge Markets, RHB Investment Bank Bhd stated it does not anticipate any increment in casino obligations as the division is still recuperating from the steep tax hike imposed two years ago and they said that the 35% casino duty in Malaysia is as of now one of the highest within the region.

The tax hike imposed two years ago had Malaysia’s casino license fee increased from MYR120 million rhb-building_20190301105216_theedgemarkets(US$28.8 million) to MYR150 million per year, while the casino duty rate raised to 35 percent from 25 percent of gross gaming revenue (GGR); Gaming machine duties were increased from 20 percent to 30 percent on gross collection.

Furthermore, Genting Malaysia Bhd, being heavily impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, had said “Even though Resorts World Genting has reopened, the recovery pace is still slow due to the social distancing rules in place.

“Hence, another round of tax hikes is unlikely as the sector is no longer a low-hanging fruit,” said Genting Malaysia Bhd.

RHB stated “the last tax hike for numbers forecast operators (NFOs) was in 2010, when the pool betting duty increased from 6% to the current 8%.” Nonetheless they added they they company doesn't forsee any tax hikes this time as the NFO's were heavily impacted by the pandemic. Adding that

“Although NFOs have staged a strong ticket sales recovery since the economic reopening, they have yet to reach pre-pandemic levels (currently only at 80-85% of pre-pandemic levels)."

RHB also expressed, “In order for the government to harvest extra tax revenue, we believe stricter enforcement on illegal operators is a more feasible solution.”

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