Smoking ban hits Monaco

The parliament of Monaco last month voted to ban smoking in all public places, including casinos. The edict will go into effect in six months. An earlier version of the bill exempted casinos, but that was removed at the last minute.

It is likely, therefore, that Monaco will experience a drop of at least 15 percent in gross gaming revenues, if the experience of the neighboring French casinos is any indication. Casinos in France have labored under the smoking ban since January 1.

Societe des Bains de Mer, which owns the country’s five casinos, expects to lose some Italian and French customers who moved to the casinos in Monaco when smoking bans were implemented in their countries.

Revenues in March were up nearly 8 percent, while the gross gaming revenues at French casinos have been down since the introduction of the ban.