Air quality in the smoking areas of 28 out of 44 gaming venues in the first two months of this year failed in the government’s assessment of the concentration levels of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, PM2.5, PM10, volatile organic compound and benzo[a]pyrene in the venues, the Health Bureau (SSM) said in a statement Wednesday.
It is the first air quality assessment report, which was introduced this year when the partial smoking ban in casinos came into effect on January 1.
According to the Tobacco Control Law, gaming operators are required to set up smoking areas of no more than 50 percent of their gaming venues’ total public area so that their customers can legally smoke inside the venues. Smokers are fined 400 patacas if caught lighting up in casinos’ non-smoking areas.
Under the law, gaming operators also need to run regular air quality assessments in their casinos and report them to the Health Bureau each month. Yesterday’s statement from the bureau said that up until April 9, a total of 42 gaming venues had submitted their air quality report to the bureau but two – The Legend Club and Babylon Casino – had yet to hand in their reports.
According to the statement cited by The Macau Post Daily, the 28 gaming venues have each failed in at least one out of six categories in the assessment and represent 63.6 percent of all the city’s gaming venues that have set aside smoking areas. The gaming venues in question include 16 from SJM, eight from Melco Crown Entertainment, three from Galaxy Entertainment Group and one from Wynn Macau.
The statement said that the bureau had meanwhile sent letters to the casino operators to demand they improve air quality in their premises’ smoking areas and provide a new report in four weeks’ time.
“If the casinos have made improvements and air quality passes, the smoking areas may stay intact but if air quality still fails the assessment, Health Bureau will, based on the law, reduce the size of the respective smoking area,” the statement said.
However, there were no details by how much pollution levels have exceeded the law’s guideline, only that the inspection team found from 1,000 evaluations between March 25 and 30 that 43.8 percent of the 44 gaming venues’ air quality scored 3 on a scale of 1 to 5 with 1 being the worst; 31 percent scored 2 and just 1.4 percent had full marks.
“The air quality of the smoking areas in Macau’s gaming venues has an average mark of 2.7, ranging between “passable” and “bad” and air quality in non-smoking areas has an average mark of 3.3, ranging between “passable” and “good”,” the statement said.
The city’s gaming venues comprise casinos and slot-machine parlours.(macaunews)