Macau casino operators are ready to adapt gaming floors to a full smoking ban but regulatory changes could even impact private rooms, says MGM China Holdings Ltd’s chief executive Grant Bowie (pictured).
All mass market casino floors in Macau must go smoke-free starting from October 6, the government announced last week. The current regulations allow operators to set up smoking zones of up to 50 percent of the gaming floor space.
“It is permissible to have smoke in private rooms,” Mr Bowie told GGRAsia yesterday. However, those private areas have to be physically separated from mass market areas.
“It is still entirely possible that there will actually be a requirement for even non-smoking in some of the VIP rooms,” said Mr Bowie. “It is just a question of how it all fits together.”
“Obviously, the walking public mass is going non-smoking as it has been reported,” he said.
Premium mass areas located on the mass market floor “will have to comply with the full smoking ban,” Macau’s Health Bureau told GGRAsia last week.
Under the new rules, Macau casino operators will be allowed to build smoking rooms on their mass market floors. The government said it would fast track the legislative procedure and the approval process to ensure enough time for the construction of the smoking rooms.
“Any policy change will always have an impact [on operations],” said Mr Bowie. “This is just another opportunity for us to reconstruct our operations. This is how businesses move forward.”
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”We expect Goa to quickly become a US$1 billion market as it transitions to land-based casinos (from US$150 million today), which is still just a fraction of India’s total GGR potential of US$10 billion to US$17 billion”
Analyst at Union Gaming Securities Asia