Macau Casinos Fail to Meet Local Regulations

Published: September 20, 2013

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The Asian gaming hub had its second round of smoke checks, and sixteen casinos in Macau failed to pass the check and will have their smoking areas reduced in size as a consequence. In January of 2013, the Macau authorities requested that casinos set up designated indoor smoking areas, but in April 28 out of the 46 casinos in the area failed the first round of checks. Then, in September round two of smoke checks was set up and the number of failing casinos went doen to 16.

The Secretary of Social Affairs and Culture in Macau, Cheong U, made the announcement that all of the offenders in round two would have their smoking areas reduced. This penalty is applied to the casinos until they are able to prove that they can fulfill local regulations; however, nothing was revealed as to how the process will be implemented. The names of the casinos that did not pass the inspection, but it is known that 16 out of the 28 original offenders were owned and operated by SJM Holdings. Shortly, after the penalty announcement, SJM Holdings made a public announcement that since their casinos are older and harder to modernize, that they might have to take a step back with the whole smoking topic. Nobody has confirmed that all of their casinos failed, but the speculation is high.

Mocha Clubs, the slot parlor of Melco Crown Entertainment (MCE), is also in for some cuts since the check up for the November announcements of new rules for gaming operations in residential neighborhoods. In November, the Macau's government required all slot parlors to be located in a five-star hotel, at a non-residential building 500 meters away from a casino, or as part of a resort in an area that is densely populated. As a result, five slot halls will be shit down, two are operated by SJM and three by MCE.

Both companies are trying to adjust to the current situation, and MCE has even resorted to move some of their slot parlours to other buildings outside neighborhoods. SJM has not made any public announcements after their retreat from the "smoking issue," but we will keep you up to date as to what develops from this case. The bottom line is that gambling regulation continues to get stricter in Macau, and every single detail is being meticulously measured. Check back on the site for more details.


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