THE gaming industry will see its contribution to the national coffers increase through the implementation of additional taxes, fees and levies.
According to Finance minister Lim Guan Eng, taxes, fees and levies on the industry has not been raised since 2005.
Casino licence will be increased from RM120mil to RM150mil every year while licences for dealer machines will be increased from RM10,000 to RM50,000 every year.
Duties on casinos will be increased to 35% on gross income while duties on gaming machines will be increased to 30% from 20% on gross collection.
Shares in Genting Bhd fell by 2.70% or 20 sen to RM7.20 immediately after the announcement by the government.
Analysts say further downside is possible when share trading reopens on Monday as the announcement was made known to the public only near market close.
But industry observers also noted that the increase in the casino licence can be offset by the increased volume and revenues especially when the new theme park reopens.
“Visitors to Genting Highlands will increase and this can have a positive spillover effect on visitors to the casino and this can limit the overall impact from the casino licence,” an observer said.
On the flip side, shares in other gaming counters which do not operate a casino went up with Magnum Bhd rising 3.30% or six sen to RM1.88 while Berjaya Sports Toto Bhd rose 6.28% or 13 sen to RM2.20. Magnum and Berjaya Sports Toto operate within the subindustry of number forecast operators and will not be affected by the new tax initiatives.
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