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Chinese Crackdown On Corruption, VIP Tours Now Smoking In Casinos

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Casino stocks enjoyed a modest rebound this week as the Chinese government considers easing plans to ban smoking on gaming floors.

Wynn Resorts gained almost six percent on Monday in Hong Kong, as Galaxy Entertainment and Sands China both rallied at least 4.7 percent.

Stocks jumped after Macau Business reported the potential reversal of the partial casino-smoking ban.

So, why soften one of the toughest anti-smoking policies in the gaming industry? Is it all about trying to stem the ongoing decline in gaming revenues?

Or, is smoking an integral part of the gambling experience?

KNPR's State of Nevada producer Chris Sieroty said a partial ban in October forced casinos to create 'smoking rooms' similar to those seen in airports. 

A total ban would impact VIP gaming lounges and outlaw smoking entirely.

"They're trying to crackdown on smoking in China, which is a very difficult thing to do because it's like it used to be here very much part of the culture," Sieroty said.

Millions of Chinese smoke but that is taking a toll because of increased health care costs. 

Sieroty said that while Las Vegas-based gaming companies aren't happy about the proposed ban, and are asking the Macau Parliament for a study into the issue, it is part of doing business in China.  

Chris Sieroty, producer, KNPR's State of Nevada

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