Macau operators win smoking ban reprieve, but for how long?

Macau’s casino operators, who have put up a united front in opposing a proposed blanket ban on smoking, may have won a battle with signs the government is softening its stance, but have not yet won the war. On Friday, July 10, a bill proposing a full smoking ban in casinos passed its first reading by an almost unanimous vote of 26-2 in Macau’s Legislative Assembly. The bill, which will return to the Assembly for the second and third reading after a working committee examines the situation and issues a report, would remove the airport-style smoking lounges currently in place in casinos and would ban smoking in private rooms occupied by VIPs from 2016. But after appearing firm in its resolve to make smoking in casinos a thing of the past, the government has mellowed its tone and says it will consider keeping the lounges. “Some legislators seem very confident about establishing...

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