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Macau smoking ban expected next year

Macau’s casinos are expected to be completely smoke free next year, according to the Health Bureau’s tobacco prevention director.

Tang Chi Ho said the government was confident a bill to implement a full smoking ban on all indoor workplaces, including casinos and other gaming venues, will be passed and in place next year.

Though government officials pressured casinos to prohibit smoking last year, it was permitted in VIP lounges, private rooms and designated smoking rooms. However the amendment to the bill will see smoking completely banned.

The government is also looking to increase tobacco tax on a packet of 20 cigarettes up to 70 percent.

Macau’s flagging revenues have been linked to the smoking ban, which analysts say disrupts player patterns.

Deutsche Bank analyst Andrew Zarnett told Casino.Org that the ban was “worse than originally expected,” but also difficult to determine how responsible for the falling player levels due to other regulatory changes.


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