Macau’s six casino operators met with the Second Standing Committee of Legislative Assembly to jointly present their views on the proposed smoking regulations along with the comprehensive data from an independent study.
The study was conducted by professional services company KPMG on the impact a proposed complete smoking ban, if implemented without retaining smoking lounges, would have on Macau’s economy.
The six casino operators voiced their full support for the government's smoking control measures due to the positive health benefits it will have on the public and staff.
“However, the group believes that maintaining well-constructed and independently-ventilated smoking lounges in casinos could be an alternative to a full smoking ban,” the companies said in a joint statement.
“Going forward, the gaming industry would welcome a collaborative effort to enhance regulatory measures and standards across these facilities as a more viable solution.”
The six operators released initial results on 16 June 2015, which showed that 66 percent of employees and 71 percent of customers supported the retention of smoking lounges in the casinos. Customers also noted that their expenditure could fall considerably as they respond to the ban by spending less time and money in Macau and by diverting their gaming activity to other destinations in the region.
Further findings by KPMG show that, should there be a complete smoking ban, Macau GDP could fall substantially by another 16 percent.
"The operators urged the legislators to take objective views and carefully consider all the implications that an enactment of a full smoking ban would have on Macau’s economy so that Macau’s proposition as a World Centre of Tourism and Leisure is not compromised."
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