Officials hope the bill will go into effect in early after receiving a second reading at the Macau Legislature’s plenary session before going out for a summer break. Currently, players at the casino table are allowed to smoke only in specially designated areas of casinos marked with VIP zones, while smokers elsewhere in the casino are allowed to smoke only in the smoking lounge.
The amendment aims to set up smoking lounges in VIP areas as well, and once the legislative session is passed, lounges should be created so that casino operators can also comply with certain technical standards to be discussed in the special executive order. Mo Chan-chaek, chairman of the second standing committee of the Legislative Council, said he is currently reviewing the draft, and there is no problem with it. There are a few additional details that we are trying our best to include in the final version.
Ng Kuo-cheng, one of the biggest advocates and legislators of a total ban on smoking inside casinos, strongly supports the idea of setting up smoking lounges in the VIP section of the Macau casino. He also argues that the World Health Organization’s opinion on the numerous health-related risks of tobacco smoke inhalation should clearly list the reasons behind this ban.
The Legislative Council Committee has been tasked with reviewing legislative proposals and submitting a written opinion on them for peer review. This opinion can and will be considered if there is a last-minute adjustment before the second reading of the Bill. The President and the Legislative Council Secretariat set the agenda and date for the National Assembly. This year’s second standing committee meeting will be held next week.
The current legislative term ends in August, meaning elections should be held in September. It will decide who will sit in the Legislative Council over the next four years. If the proposed anti-smoking bill fails to pass the National Assembly before this summer’s deadline, it will soon lose its effect. This means that the whole process for smoking proposals should start anew.