KPMG recently conducted a survey of 542 gamblers in Macau asking them for their opinion on Macau’s blanket smoking ban and received a 71 percent response where some opposed a blanket smoking ban and some were in favour of having VIP smoking lounges. KPMG also surveyed more than 34,000 employees that were employed by six gaming operators in Macau and then used the data to prepare a 27 page document of how Macau’s gambling industry could be impacted by a blanket ban.
The report was first presented by KPMG on the 11th of November to a special committee of Macau’s Legislative Assembly and the public was informed that the biggest highlight of the report was the Macau’s annual gross domestic product (GDP) would be reduced by 16 percent if the blanket smoking ban was introduced. On the 20th of November, KPMG released its detailed report to the public.
The report stated that if a blanket ban was introduced then VIP customers would reduce the number of times they visit Macau by 1.15 of a time and the length of their stay would also be cut by 0.56 of a day. The report also stated that a blanket smoking ban might end up reducing the total fiscal receipts in Macau by as much as 20 percent.
KPMG also released a statement speaking about the accuracy of its survey and its estimates by saying “The employee survey was conducted during 19 May – 3 June 2015 via a secure online web platform at the gaming premises of the six gaming operators. The employee and customer surveys are both statistically robust, representing a confidence level of 95 percent and a margin of error of 0.5 percent and 4.2 percent respectively.”
Macau’s casino industry has continued to decline with every passing month since the introduction of the anti-corruption drive. Gaming analysts have also predicted that the market will continue to decline in 2016 and the government has asked casinos to change its market strategy from focusing on VIP gamblers to focusing on mass market gamblers.
The Macau government had earlier stated that it might reconsider its proposed blanket smoking ban based on the findings of the working committee from the Legislative Assembly. It will be up to the special working committee to decide if the data submitted by KPMG is strong enough for them to drop its blanket smoking ban in an effort to prevent the on-going decline of VIP gamblers.