The Macau government has confirmed that Casino Grand Lisboa (pictured), operated by SJM Holdings Ltd, has submitted an application to install smoking lounges that meet stricter new standards. Absent from the most recent count of applying venues are SJM Holdings’ other directly-managed properties, Casino Lisboa and Casino Oceanus.
Thursday’s updated list issued by the Health Bureau showed 31 casinos had requested permission for an aggregate 467 smoking lounges as of December 26. Casino Taipa Square – now rebranded Grand Dragon Casino – and Casino Golden Dragon, both managed by privately-held Golden Dragon Group under a third-party licence, have also submitted requests to the government, according to the latest list.
Casino Golden Dragon is run via the licence of SJM Holdings, while Grand Dragon Casino on Taipa makes use of the casino licence of Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd.
As of December 26, Macau authorities have given 18 casinos permission to host an aggregate of 272 smoking lounges that meet the stricter new standards, added the release.
Absent from the most recent list are other third-party-owned but SJM Holdings-licensed properties: Eastern Casino, Grandview Casino, Macau Jockey Club Casino – based at the Macau Roosevelt Hotel – and the Royal Dragon Casino.
The chief executive of SJM Holdings had said that were any of the company’s properties not to gain approval for new-style smoking lounges by the time of a city-wide ban on tableside smoking in casinos, due on January 1, it would “have some impact” on the firm, though he didn’t quantify it or characterise its likely nature.
The SJM Holdings-licensed venues mentioned are among the 16 Macau gaming venues that had failed to ask for permission for smoking lounges by December 26. The seven Mocha slot lounge properties controlled by Melco Resorts and Entertainment are on that list but the Mocha brand has decided to go completely smoke free.
All Macau gaming venues wanting to continue to offer on-site smoking to patrons must apply to the local authorities to operate the new, high-standard lounges, said to have better air extraction equipment than is mandated under the current regulatory regime. From January 1, only authorised, enhanced lounges will be permitted in to operate.
The Health Bureau has stated it would consider requests for permission for smoking lounges made after a September 28 deadline it had set, but would start assessing them only next year. The bureau said it would take longer than usual to consider any requests that were either incomplete at the time of the deadline or filed after the deadline. This was because of the number of government departments that had input into the process.
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