Macau’s casinos will be given one year to ensure smoking lounges meet strict new technical requirements under revised laws currently being considered by the Second Standing Committee of the Legislative Assembly (AL).
The AL held its 10th meeting earlier this week to mull over proposed amendments to the Law on Prevention and Control of Tobacco Smoke. According to The Macau Daily Times, the majority of the committee supports the proposed amendments which include retaining smoking lounges on casino gaming floors provided they are improved to prevent smoke from leaking out.
“If the bill can be passed, it will come into effect on 1 January 2018 and within one year, casinos can set up qualified smoking lounges,” said committee Chairman Chan Chak Mo.
Smoking would then be banned anywhere other than inside smoking lounges from 1 January 2019, while any casinos unable to meet the new specifications would see smoking banned completely on their property.
However, Chan said it would be counter-productive to issue city-wide smoking bans inside casinos given Macau’s reliance on gaming tax revenue.
“We can’t predict the casinos’ losses if a full smoking ban is implemented,” he said.
Government representatives are due to meet with the committee next week to discuss the proposed amendment to the smoking bill.