No gaming tax hike; tobacco tax boost unlikely, says AmBank Research

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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 5): The government is unlikely to increase gaming taxes for casino and lottery operators under gaming activities, according to AmBank Research.

In his 2018 Budget Preview today, AmBank group chief economist Anthony Dass said he believes Genting Malaysia Bhd has scored some brownie points with the government by proposing to spend about RM10 billion in the Genting Integrated Tourism Plan (GITP) at Resorts World Genting, Malaysia.

"For the lottery industry, ticket sales have been hit by poor consumer spending coupled with stiff competition from illegal operators," he said.

Meanwhile, Dass said he sees a low possibility for another tax hike on tobacco and tobacco products in the upcoming budget.

He explained that further increases in excise duties will only elevate illicit trades at the expense of legal sales, which will hurt rather than boost the government's tax receipts from the industry.