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June 24, 2021

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Macau: assembly to debate full smoking ban in casinos

(Macau).- The Legislative Assembly will debate amendments to the tobacco control law next month, urging the government to immediately implement a full smoking ban in casinos. Ella Lei Cheng I, who tabled the motion, said that the partial smoking ban implemented last year was unsatisfactory, given “the lenient supervision by the government”.

T

he Assembly should therefore debate “whether there should be immediate revision to the law to implement a full smoking ban in gaming venues in order to protect the occupational safety of gaming employees”, Lei said. The workspace for casino employees was even “worse” than before the partial ban, she added.

Smoking is currently permitted in areas occupying no more than half the floor space of the gaming venues. But the Health Bureau said earlier this month that they would pilot a scheme that will ban smoking on the mass-market gaming floor except for smoking rooms which do not accommodate gaming tables or slot machines. For the VIP gaming floor, smoking is still permitted in at most half the floor space, the latest proposal says.

Legislator Ng Kuok Cheong said yesterday that he agreed with the debate, and that now is “the appropriate timing” to enforce a full smoking ban in casinos.

The Assembly yesterday also approved discussion of the route and budget of the Light Rapid Transit railway, as well as the contract for on-call taxi services.

The legislators also gave a green light to the first reading of the bill to raise the salaries of civil servants by 5.71 percent in May. The rise will cost an extra US$68.8 million in this year’s government expenditure.

 

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