Macau’s Health Bureau issues more than 370 permissions for smoking lounges at city casinos ahead of new law’s implementation
Macau’s Health Bureau has licensed 378 smoking lounges at the city casinos as of today, December 31, local news outlet the Macau Business reports, citing information from a press release issued by the Bureau earlier today.
Macau’s new rules for smoking at casinos, which are set to take effect on January 1, require the city’s gambling venues to obtain licenses from the Health Bureau that would authorize them to operate dedicated on-property smoking lounges. Smoking will only be allowed at those lounges as from tomorrow.
As many as 404 license applications were submitted by the September 28 deadline. A total of 27 of the city’s more than 40 gambling venues had filed the necessary paperwork with the Health Bureau by that time. The agency said today that 346 of the approved applications were submitted before the deadline, which represents roughly 86% of all received applications.
According to the Health Bureau’s most recently updated list, there are 13 venues that are yet to apply for smoking lounge permission, with some of those being Presidential Casino, Grandview Casino, Regency Art Hotel, and seven Mocha Club sites.
Fines for Illegal Smoking
Macau’s new law instructs local casinos to watch closely for any violations and to avoid such breaches of the rules. Violators are facing fines of up to MOP20,000. Repeated violations would be penalized with tougher actions by the competent authorities.
Under the new rules, smoking will only be allowed at smoking lounges. The facilities should be located at least three meters away from slot machines at the gaming floors. In addition, casinos should make sure that smoking alarms are installed and that signs informing visitors about the dangers of smoking should be “displayed conspicuously” in areas where they can be spotted easily.
Smoking in Macau’s casinos has long been prohibited with very few exceptions. Up until mid-2017, VIP rooms at the gambling venues allowed their clientele to smoke while gambling. However, the Macau Legislative Assembly adopted a new legislation that prohibited smoking in that areas, as well.
As the city is gearing up for the enforcement of the new smoking rules, the Health Bureau has intensified its efforts to spot any violations of the existing regulations. The agency detected 1,431 breaches of those regulations during the first 10 months of the year. That figure represented an increase of 84% from the previous year.
- Quang Ninh seeks government approval for US$2-billion casino
- Shashi Tharoor to introduce new Bill in Lok Sabha to regulate sports betting
- Is Macau Gambling With Its Responsibility?
- The News Stories that Gripped the Gambling Universe in 2018 (Part 2)
- The News Stories that Gripped the Gambling Universe in 2018 (Part 1)