Majority in favor of smoking ban: New survey

Around 68.7 percent of respondents to a new survey by the Macau Gaming Enterprises Staff Association have expressed their desire to work in smoke free casinos, Macau Business reports.

According to the survey, which questioned 1,981 gaming workers in Macau, 29.4 percent were in support of the setting up of smoking lounges, while 61 per cent noted cases of casinos violating smoking regulations.

The survey also showed that 61.6 percent of respondents were unsatisfied with the government’s performance in regards to enforcing the smoking law.

Director general of the association Choi Kam Fu, while noting the association will maintain its stance on a full smoking ban in gaming venues, did not comment on the government’s “U-turn” on smoking lounges.

“Certainly the government has its many considerations,” said Choi following a meeting with the Health Bureau and the Tobacco Control Office on Friday. “Whether it is U-turning, frankly speaking, we can’t comment.”

Last month, the government proposed amendments to the smoking bill which would allow the establishment of smoking lounges in the city’s casinos, local media reports.

The Health Bureau said the amendments were in line with the survey results commissioned by the city’s gaming operators.

The survey, which sought the opinion of over 14,000 Macau gaming employees on smoking lounges in casinos saw around 55 percent of employees being in favor of the lounges.

The government in a press release at the time said it would “mull suggestions regarding the possible retention of existing smoking lounges in local casinos” and whether new lounges could be established.