Secretary general of Macau Staff Association says smoking survey not accurate

The secretary general of the Macau Gaming Enterprises Staff Association said that the results of a recent survey that shows most casino employees are in favor of smoking lounges are skewed due to respondents being under pressure to give certain answers.

Kelvin Choi Kam Fu said that when taking part in the survey some casino workers filled in multiple questionnaires in the presence of their bosses and felt obliged to give certain answers, the Macau Daily reported.

The independent study commissioned by the six operators showed that among almost 34,000 participating employees of the six casino operators, 66 percent support smoking lounges within the casinos. The respondents were made up of 81 percent gaming and 19 percent non-gaming employees, including smokers and non-smokers.

Choi told reporters that while respondents took the survey anonymously, some gaming operators encouraged their staff to take part by having a lucky draw for those who answered the questionnaire.

His comments follow those of MGM China Co-chairperson Pansy Ho Chui-king who said the city’s six gaming operators were not attempting to pressure the government into reconsidering its plan to impose a full smoking ban on casinos, but just trying to reach a compromise on the matter.

Speaking on the sidelines of a press conference at a Global Tourism Economy Forum, Ho said that there can be a happy medium for those who smoke and do not smoke, Macau News reported.

“You go there [smoking lounges] when you want to smoke. It does not affect others,” Ho said.

“[T]here are people who still opt to smoke, so we are exploring the possibility of whether there can be a compromise.”