The revision of law 5/2011, which approved the smoking
prevention and control bill, is still pending and, though a
full smoking ban in casinos was the initial plan of the Macau
government, it may not actually happen after all.
In mid-2015, the Macau government submitted to the
legislative assembly a proposal for the revision of law 5/2011,
and the first reading of the bill, already approved by the city
legislators, contemplated a full smoking ban for casinos.
Fearing that the revision might jeopardise the recovery of
the gaming industry, the gaming concessionaires and
sub-concessionaires recently submitted to the Macau government
a study, conducted by the Macau University and the Hong Kong
Polytechnic Institute, which reported that the majority of the
gaming workers surveyed accepted or supported the creation of
smoking lounges. The major gaming actors further submitted a
proposal regarding the improvement of the technical
specifications of the smoking lounges.
Hearing about the study, the local authorities immediately
conveyed, via the Health Bureau, that the Macau government was
considering retaining smoking lounges in casinos, provided that
they were physically independent of the remaining premises,
technically enhanced and free from gaming tables or slot
VIP rooms would also be targeted by the new rules and,
therefore, smoking in high-rolling rooms would also be confined
to gaming-free lounges. The installation of the smoking lounges
(for both mass areas and VIP rooms) would be subject to the
approval the Health Bureau.
The second reading of the bill for the revision of the
smoking law is being prepared by the Macau government. It is
expected to be submitted to the legislative assembly within the
According to the Health Bureau, this is not the end of the
story for the smoking bill and it is viewed as another step
towards the intended full smoking ban.
||João Nuno Riquito and Bruno