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Macau Health Bureau has been charged by the agency with 536 cases of illegal smoking inside local casinos, 80% of which were caused by tourists, the Macau Business Daily reported.

According to the bureau, 413 joint local casino inspections have been conducted by it and the Game Inspection Coordination Bureau (DICJ) in the past 10 months. Of the 536 cases charged, 427 were violated by tourists, accounting for 79.7%. Local residents committed 106 smoking violations with 19.8% responsibility, while non-resident workers committed three violations (.06%), according to the report.

Tobacco smoking is only permitted in VIP rooms or airport-style lounges on the large gaming floor of city casinos. The current policy also prohibits smoking in other indoor venues, such as bars, restaurants, saunas, discos, and karaoke bars.

According to the Ministry of Health and Welfare, 5,606 people were indicted for illegal smoking out of 264,824 inspections conducted since January. Local residents accounted for 62 percent with 3473 people and prosecutions of tourists were 1893, accounting for 33.8 percent of the total. Meanwhile, the responsibility of non-resident workers reached 234, or 4.2%.

Regarding the location, internet cafes accounted for the largest number of 1039 cases, with 684 parks and 622 games.

The smoking ban in Macau has exempted VIP rooms and enclosed lounges without game consoles, but as part of a scheduled revision of the Tobacco Control Act during the escalating smoking debate, the government could perhaps repeal the exemptions and instead introduce a smoking ban that makes it illegal to do so anywhere in casinos in the Special Administrative Region of China.


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