Smoking lounges in favor: survey

More than 50 percent of gaming employees in Macau are in favor of smoking lounges, according to a survey commissioned by the city’s gaming concessionaires, Macau TDM reports.

The survey conducted by the University of Macau, questioned near 14,000 gaming employees of the controversial indoor smoking solution.

Since October 2014, the Macau government has been eyeing the implementation of a full indoor smoking ban to the dismay of the city’s casino operators.

The latest survey however, shows that 60 per cent of the 14,000 participants were in favour of keeping the smoking lounges.

It is also understood that the casinos commissioned the Hong Kong Polytechnic University to test the air quality in areas surrounding smoking lounges and found it to meet Macau’s indoor air quality standards.

Despite this, Ambrose So said that the casinos have decided to upgrade existing smoking facilities, which will take 12 to 18 months.

“I think in a democratic world, the majority rules as you can understand,” said the SJM chief. “So we cannot have a system that can please everybody.”

“But at least the finding says that the majority of people also support the smoking lounge and that was the result,” he added.

“[We need to] keep the smoking lounge up to standards, and …give some options to those smokers, [while not intervening with] those who do not smoke,” he said.

Mr. So said he hoped that the government would grant them sufficient time to upgrade the smoking lounges before a decision is made on the full smoking ban.