Macau’s Health Bureau has confirmed the 12 gaming venues that have received official approval for smoking lounges for their main casino floor patrons.
They include: the casino at StarWorld, operated by Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd; the casinos at Sands Macao, the Venetian Macao and Sands Cotai Central respectively, operated by Sands China Ltd; and the casino at Wynn Macau, operated by Wynn Macau Ltd.
But that means some of Macau’s biggest and most profitable casinos have main floors that are currently entirely smoke free. VIP areas – though not premium mass ones – have been excluded from the smoking ban.
Those venues with no approval as of Monday night for mass floor smoking rooms are: Galaxy Macau, run by Galaxy Entertainment; Altira Macau and City of Dreams run by Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd; MGM Macau, operated by MGM China Holdings Ltd; and Casino Grand Lisboa and Casino Lisboa run by SJM Holdings Ltd.
There are a total of 16 gaming venues awaiting final approval for their smoking lounges, according to Macau’s Health Bureau.
Several analysts have suggested that a twin-track system – with some venues with installed smoking rooms on their mass floors and some casinos with their mass floors entirely smoke free – potentially puts the no-smoking venues at a competitive disadvantage to their market peers. That’s even if the advantage is only temporary while venues with currently smoke-free main floors await approvals for smoking rooms.
The other venues that have had smoking areas approved are a number of Mocha slot clubs, run under the licence of Melco Crown Entertainment, and several so-called satellite casinos.
The approved Mocha venues are: Mocha Inner Harbour, Mocha Hotel Sintra, Mocha Hotel Royal and Mocha Macau Tower.
The approved satellite casinos are: Casino Fortuna and Casino Babylon, both under an SJM Holdings licence, and Casino Rio, operated via Galaxy Entertainment’s gaming permit.
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"The most worrying [thing] is whether [mainland] China will again tighten the issuance of travel visas [for visits to Macau]"
Luiz Lam Kai Kuong
Macau junket investor