Over half of Macau’s casino workers are unwilling to work in VIP rooms, where smoking will still be allowed after October 6, shows a Macau-government sponsored survey.
The results, announced on Sunday, show that 58.4 percent of casino workers were unwilling to work in VIP rooms after a full smoking ban comes into effect on the mass market floors. But some 12.7 percent of these casino workers would be willing to change their mind in exchange for a special allowance, according to media reports.
The poll also concluded that 90 percent of dealers in the city support the full mass-market smoking ban in Macau.
The measure was announced by the government earlier this month. It will be implemented from October 6.
Under the government’s proposal, all operators will be allowed to build smoking rooms on their mass-market floors, but without any gaming tables or slot machines inside. In theory they would be similar to smoking rooms found at major airports.
Smoking zones inside VIP rooms will still be allowed, but they should not exceed half of the total area size, as already stated under the current rules.
The survey was carried out by the Institute for the Study of Commercial Gaming of the University of Macau and commissioned by the Health Bureau. It was conducted on May 17, after the full mass-market smoking ban was announced. A total of 1,031 gaming sector workers, including croupiers and cashiers, were surveyed.
The survey also concluded that 29.8 percent of casino workers smoke. The rate is substantially above the average for Macau, which stood at 16.9 percent as of 2011.
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"The [Macau] government has a lead in this subject in regards to what should be done after the [gaming] concessions expire. We will be first listening to what the government will say”
Ambrose So Shu Fai
Vice-chairman and chief executive at Macau casino operator SJM Holdings