Health Bureau approves more casino smoking lounges

The Health Bureau (SSM) approved 11 casino smoking lounges in December 2019, increasing the number of new-style smoking lounges in the city’s gaming venues to 642.

Last year, the SSM received applications from 35 casinos to license 677 smoking rooms. Of these, 642 smoking rooms in 34 casinos were authorized, according to a report issued by the health authority.

With regard to compliance, the SSM and the Gambling Inspection and Coordination Bureau conducted 1,187 inspections of casinos in Macau.

Following these inspections, 1,375 individuals were prosecuted for smoking in prohibited places, the highest figure among other types of establishments, including parks and leisure areas (876) and shopping centers (602).

In December 2019, the SSM reported the 128 sites which had the highest incidence of offenses. Some 470 inspections were carried out and 108 charges were issued at these sites.

According to the SSM, the bureau has adopted different strategies and carried out over 334,000 inspections of establishments in 2019, an average of 917 inspections daily. This represented a 2.1% reduction in inspections compared to the same period in 2018.

In 2019, there were 5,337 infractions, of which 5,311 were related to people smoking in prohibited areas. Twenty-eight cases were related to the use of electronic cigarettes.

Thirty percent of the fines (1,593) were imposed on Macau residents, while two-thirds (3,524) were imposed on tourists. Meanwhile, 195 offenses were committed by non-resident workers, equal to about 3.7%. LV

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