Smoking rules to trim 2019 GGR, but China a bigger concern

Many of Macau’s casinos are in a race against time to ensure their newly-equipped VIP smoking lounges have been approved by the authorities. New Year’s Day will mark the conclusion of a one-year grace period afforded to operators to comply with a legislative amendment to the Regime on Tobacco Prevention and Control, which since October 2014 has outlawed smoking on mass-market floors in casinos. Under the amendment, passed by Macau’s Legislative Assembly back in July 2017, casinos that wish to retain tableside smoking in VIP areas have to meet certain technical specifications, which are then approved by the Macau Health Bureau. The requirements include having tables or machines at least three metres from a single lounge entrance, which must have automatic sliding doors; adequate ventilation; ensuring cleaning staff wear protective masks and are only allowed into the room two hours after the last cigarette or cigar has been stubbed out; and displaying...

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