Health Bureau foreshadows strict inspections on smoking ban

Health Bureau director Mr Lei Chin Ion has said that his department will carry out strict inspections in local casinos once the smoking ban on mass gaming floors comes into effect next month.
Responding to casino staff concerns, Lei Chin Ion said that they will meet with the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) and discuss concrete definitions of mass gaming floors and private rooms (the latter usually being where the VIP clients gamble) in order to avoid legal loopholes, TDM News reported.
In a statement, the Health Bureau said that the casinos need to clearly distinguish VIP rooms from mass gaming floors. As VIP rooms are larger, casinos will be encouraged to use ventilation systems to improve air quality, since the ban does not include private gaming rooms.
The smoking ban on mass gaming floors will take effect on October 6 in all MSAR casinos.
However, on Friday, the Macau Gaming Enterprises’ Staff Association said that the ban contains a legal loophole, as staff members from three casinos have disclosed their companies’ intentions of setting up private rooms within the mass gaming floors.
The Health Bureau pledged to carry out strict inspections. “I know that people are concerned about those issues, but we need to discuss with our legal consultants whether it abides by the regulations. We also need to communicate with the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) to study how to define mass gaming floors and private gaming rooms,” said Lei Chin Ion.
The Health Bureau director said that the Bureau has urged gaming operators to quickly set up the locations for smoking areas, so that the government has enough time to assess them and approve their plans.

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