Macau casino smoking infringements down in 2019 as number of approved smoking rooms hits 642 - IAG
Tuesday 7th January 2020
The Health Bureau reported a 19.8% decrease in the number of illegal smoking prosecutions in Macau's casinos in 2019, despite a significant increase in inspections.
Releasing annual figures in a press announcement on Tuesday, the Health Bureau revealed that it held 1,187 joint inspections of casinos alongside the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau in 2019 - up 38.2% on 2018 numbers - but saw prosecutions for illegal smoking fall by 339 cases to 1,375.
However, casinos remained the most common place for illegal smoking to take place, comprising 25.8% of all prosecutions for the year. Parks, gardens and recreations areas were responsible for 876 cases or 16.4%, and shopping malls for 602 cases or 11.3%.
Casino prosecutions were predominantly of men (1,289 or 93.7%), while 83.1% were foreign tourists.
One reason for Macau casinos seeing fewer prosecutions could be the growing number of approved smoking rooms installed. According to the Health Bureau, as of 31 December 2019 there had been a total of 677 applications for smoking rooms received from 35 casinos, with 642 rooms in 34 casinos now in operation.
Macau introduced its New Tobacco Control Act on 1 January 2019, extending the city's non-smoking areas to include a ban on smoking in the VIP areas of casinos, with smoking now only allowed inside specially ventilated smoking rooms.