The government of Macau is still standing behind a proposal to see a full smoking ban put in place at all casinos. Alexis Tam Chong Weng, of the Office of the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, stated that the government is committee to installing this ban. The clarification of the ban was needed after Steve Wynn was heard in a conference call stating that the government had changed their opinion on the proposal for the full smoking ban.

Wynn is the Chairman of the Wynn Macau Ltd and hinted around during an investment analyst’s conference call that the proposal was not going to be in effect. However, the government office clarified that their stance on the matter is clear and is stated in the bill. The measure has passed the first reading of Legislative Assembly in Macau and continues to move forward.

Mr. Tam oversees the policies of smoking control in Macau and has stated several times that secondhand smoke would not be properly controlled in casinos if smoking lounges are continued to operate in Macau gaming facilities.

In the conference call, Wynn had stated that he was glad to see the government of Macau allowing smoking rooms and that there is no reason not to as Secretary Tam finally felt it was okay to allow the smoking rooms to continue. Though this seems to not be the case.

The tobacco control bill has been amended and currently sits at the committee stage of the Legislative Assembly. The bill is in reference to the abolition of smoking lounges as well as a full smoking ban to be instituted in the VIP areas of casinos. On July 10th, the first reading of the bill was approved.

2 Responses

  1. Steven Norton

    After Illinois enacted a full smoking ban on their riverboat casinos in Jan. 2008, I prepared a study on the Chicago area boats at year’s end. The first year impact was bad. Casino win was reduced by 21.8% and attendance down 14.1%. But I followed up, two years later, before a 5th casino opened and invalidated the comparisons. The 3 year impact was win down 35.5%, attendance 24.4%, and because of the variable tax rate on higher levels of revenues, taxes were 47% lower. And the win per visit had declines from $141.83 to $121.01, a 14.1% decline, most likely a result of players having to go out on the decks, or leave the riverboat, to light up. Since casino gaming is an adult experience, the only persons concerned about 2nd hand smoke, are non smoking employees; a situation that can easily be corrected by only allowing smoking employees to deal or serve in casino, restaurant or nightclub smoking sections.

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