Casino hotel Wynn Macau (pictured), operated by Wynn Macau Ltd, is facing a probe from the city’s Health Bureau for allegedly breaching the city’s ban on smoking in public places.
The company is said to have failed to post ‘no smoking’ signs in an area inside its casino, the bureau stated in a press statement issued on Thursday.
The statement was issued after a joint inspection – by the Health Bureau and the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau – of the casino at Wynn Macau. The site inspection followed a complaint from an unnamed party that claimed Wynn Macau was not complying with a 2012 government-approved blueprint stating in which areas of the casino customers were allowed to smoke.
“The casino joined some smoking areas (VIP rooms) and non-smoking areas (corridors) with no clear separation between them,” the bureau stated. It added there was a lack of ‘no smoking’ signs in the mentioned non-smoking areas.
The bureau said it had issued an official notification to Wynn Macau Ltd on the matter and would be following up the case.
The Health Bureau statement did not mention if the bureau would be suggesting any penalties to Wynn Macau. Failure to post ‘no smoking’ signs – in a prominent manner – could be punishable with fines of between MOP10,000 (US$1,250) to MOP100,000, according to the law.
GGRAsia contacted Wynn Macau Ltd for comment, but had not received a response at the time our story was published.
The Macau government banned in October 2014 smoking on casino mass floors. An exception was made for tobacco use in enclosed smoking lounges – facilities without gaming – located on some casino mass-market floors in the city. Having a cigarette while gambling is at present still allowed in VIP rooms.
A total of 613 people has been fined in Macau in the first nine months of 2017 for smoking in unauthorised areas inside the city’s casinos, according to government statistics.
A new regime on smoking in public places was approved by Macau’s Legislative Assembly in July. The new regime includes banning tableside smoking in VIP gambling areas. Operators can however apply to construct smoking lounges – free of gaming – in high-roller gambling rooms. Smoking lounges will continue to be authorised on casino mass floors.
Under the city’s amended Regime on Tobacco Prevention and Control, which will come into effect in January 1, 2018, Macau casinos will be given one year to install smoking lounges free of gaming in their VIP areas. All smoking lounges in casinos – including the existing ones set up on mass floors since the ban on free-for-all casino smoking – will also have to conform to enhanced technical standards.
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Chief executive of MGM China Holdings