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HEALTHCARE | Staff Reporter, Macau
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Macau government enforces smoking ban on all mass areas

It could affect overall GGR.

The Macau government has recently issued a press release about the upcoming October 6 smoking ban.

According to a research note from Barclays, the release emphasised that the government will strictly enforce the smoking ban on all mass areas, regardless of whether they are mass areas open to the public, or areas with restricted access to certain players.

Designated smoking rooms (without tables) for mass areas, and VIP rooms will still allow smoking. The article also said that 28 casinos have applied for 62 smoking rooms in total.

Here's more from Barclays:

This announcement would be different to our earlier understanding that partitioned premium mass areas on the mass floor would allow smoking.

We believe this likely has come about with workers and health-related departments asking for strict enforcement.

We believe casino operators will try to get clarity on whether completely segregated private premium mass areas would need to ban smoking as well.

While previously we had expected just a low-to-mid single digit % impact to overall GGR from the smoking ban (if premium mass areas can still smoke), we would now expect a higher mid-to-high single digit impact to overall GGR if smoking is not allowed in all premium mass areas as well.

We await further clarity on how extensively the smoking ban will be applied to private premium mass areas.

However, the negative impact from a stricter smoking ban is now highly likely to be more than we previously expected.

We believe this could add to weakness in October (wider gross gaming revenue y/y declines).

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