The number of prosecutions for illegally smoking inside Macau’s casinos fell 5.1% year-on-year over the first nine months of 2019, according to statistics jointly released by the Macau’s Health Bureau and Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ).
While the 994 inspections conducted during the period to 30 September 2019 was the same as 12 months earlier, authorities said the number of prosecutions declined by 183 to 1,079.
Of those prosecuted, 1,011 were men and just 68 women, while 901 – representing 83.5% of the total – were tourists. Another 175 were local Macau residents while three prosecutions were foreign employees.
The Tobacco Control Office reported a total of 2,901 calls involving 2,083 complaints about smoking in casinos, 776 enquiries and 197 “public views.”
It added that 132 illegal smoking black spots had been locked in as of September in and around the SAR’s casinos.
In total, casino-related smoking prosecutions comprised around a quarter of all smoking prosecutions city-wide during the period, which totaled 4,168. Of those, 4,144 were illegal smoking cases.
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.
The Health Bureau also revealed that it has received a total of 650 applications for smoking rooms in 34 different Macau gaming venues, with 606 smoking rooms in 33 venues now licensed.