Local gaming operators have applied for 73 more smoking lounges in 21 casinos, the Health Bureau (SSM) says in a written reply to an interpellation about the matter by lawmaker-cum-unionist Ella Lei Cheng.
The bureau’s response was made public on Wednesday.
According to the bureau, the current number of casino smoking lounges stands at 86.
A standing committee of the Legislative Assembly is still reviewing a string of proposed amendments to the Tobacco Prevention and Control Law, which took effect in 2012. The government-drafted amendment bill proposes a blanket ban on smoking in casinos. However, some legislators oppose the total ban. The committee is slated to continue is review after the summer recess which ends next month.
Currently, smoking is banned in casinos’ mass-market gambling halls but still allowed in so-called VIP rooms frequented by high rollers.
According to the bureau’s response, the authorities carried out 46 anti-smoking inspections in casinos in the first half of the year. The bureau’s anti-smoking hotline received 561 complaints during the six-month period.(Macau News / The Macau Post Daily)