International edition
September 20, 2021

Without machines or tables

Macau’s casinos submitted smoking area plans

(Macau).- Six Macau casino operators have asked permission to the government to allow smoking rooms without machines or tables. The Health Bureau and Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau are considering the request.

I think it’s a good idea… just like the smoking rooms in airports, as then most of the casinos’ gaming areas would be smoke free,” Health Bureau director Lei Chin Ion said. He warned casinos that have recently failed the air quality test to submit their new smoking area floor plans as soon as possible, or they run the risk of having a total smoking ban imposed.

According to the regulations, casinos must submit their new floor plans to reduce their existing smoking areas to ten percent within 30 days after the checks. This 30-day period ended two days ago, and Lei said that his department has yet to receive documents.

The bureau said in a written statement issued late on Sunday that they would discuss the request with the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau and that they would together seek a legal opinion on the matter.

The SSM also released a statement which admitted that the initial deadline was December 7, a Saturday prior to a public holiday on Monday (yesterday), as a result, the due date for the plans has been extended to today.

At the same time, the Director has rejected the suggestion that casinos will be allowed to enlarge their smoking areas again once air quality has improved. He said that the casinos can apply for an enlargement, but that it is up to the government to decide whether the request will be accepted or not. 

In addition, Lei said that they have received a joint recommendation from six gaming corporations suggesting that a total smoking ban be imposed in common areas, and smoking areas be turned into smoking rooms. He has indicated that he is feeling positive about the recommendation, and as a result will seek legal advice and conduct further discussions with the industry.

Also, sixteen gambling venues failed the most recent air quality test, even after being allowed to take the test a second time. That number has now dropped to 14, as two of these venues were Mocha’s slot machine parlors, which are now closed. 

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