39 casinos submit smoking ban plans

The majority of casinos and gambling premises in Macau have already submitted draft plans for the setting up of smoking lounges. This comes just a month ahead of the implementation of the full smoking ban on mass market gaming floors.
According to a statement released by the Health Bureau, 39 of the existing 41 gaming premises – casinos and slot parlours – have already submitted plans according to regulations issued in a dispatch by Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On in early July published in the Official Gazette.
Currently, smoking is only allowed in a designated area that is no larger than 50 percent of the total floor space where the public is allowed. But the quality of the air in these spaces must comply with legal constrictions.
Smoking lounges were actually suggested by the six gaming operators, who proposed the setting up of ‘resting lounges in the common area, without gaming, that would be closed and in which smoking would be permitted.’ The six gaming operators also suggested cancelling designated smoking areas on the mass gaming floor and setting up a smoking area in VIP rooms.
After taking this into consideration, health and gaming authorities settled on October 6 as the day when the full smoking ban would take effect. ‘The Health Bureau considers that the setting up of smoking lounges will improve the quality of the air inside casinos,’ the statement reads. This will benefit dealers and other casino workers whose duties are mainly in the common areas inside the casino.
Casinos are required to submit a monthly report on the quality of air in their premises to the health authorities.
Macau first promulgated a smoking ban in public places in January 2012. This regulation is due for review next year.