Casino hotel MGM Macau (pictured), operated by MGM China Holdings Ltd, might face 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 some areas inside its casino, the bureau said in a press statement issued on Thursday night.
The statement was issued after a joint inspection on Thursday – by the Health Bureau and the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau – of the casino at MGM Macau. The site inspection followed a complaint from a local labour group that claimed that MGM Macau had installed some so-called ‘multi-function’ rooms where customers were allegedly being allowed to smoke.
“During the inspection it was noticed that some areas within the casino did not have the ‘no smoking’ signs required under the existing regulations,” said the Health Bureau. The bureau stated it has issued an official notification and that it would be following up the case.
In addition, the Health Bureau said that a total of 9 people were fined on Thursday for smoking in unauthorised areas inside the casino at MGM Macau.
GGRAsia asked MGM China for a comment but received no reply by the time this story went online.
The Health Bureau statement did not mention if the bureau would be suggesting any penalties to MGM Macau. Failure to post ‘no smoking’ signs – in a prominent manner – could be punishable with fines of between MOP10,000 (US$1,252) to MOP100,000, according to the law.
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.
The bureau has so far approved a total of 86 smoking lounges on main or ‘mass’ gaming floors in Macau casinos, according to Thursday’s statement. The Health Bureau said it is currently analysing requests filed by casinos in the city for an additional 21 smoking lounges.
A total of 277 people has been fined in Macau in the first six months of 2016 for smoking in unauthorised areas inside the city’s casinos, according to government statistics.
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