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Macau Tourism Authority Closes Imperial Palace Hotel in Beijing

Macau's government tourism agency has ordered the closure of Taifa's former Shinsegi hotel, home to the shuttered Greek Mythology Casino, for six months. The building, which operates as the Imperial Palace Hotel in Beijing, poses a public safety threat due to serious administrative irregularities, including significant fire safety measures, according to MGTO.

According to new evidence discovered by government agencies, in addition to "administrative irregularities," several "illegal reconstruction" have occurred. Escape routes and exits were blocked or blocked, decorative improvements without fire protection, insufficient fire extinguishers, and unapproved emergency lighting systems were included in violations and safety hazards.

The Greek Xinhua Casino, operated under the license of SJM Holdings, was reportedly closed by the Game Inspection Coordinating Bureau on December 31 at the request of SJM. A spokesman told local media at the time that the casino was closed for remodeling. Several restaurants and other amenities, including hotel saunas and Beijing Imperial Palace Club House, were closed or their licenses revoked in the interim.

Various penalties and sanctions have been imposed for violations and owners have been ordered to correct any discrepancies by certain time-lapse deadlines. In June, MGTO found that a number of safety and other irregularities, including elevators, made the property unsafe and were not corrected by the deadline. A multi-agency contingent, including officials from at least nine public agencies such as fire and police, inspected the property and submitted a report to MGTO concluding that the building was not suitable as a public space.

This is the first time a five-star hotel in Macau has faced such sanctions. Hong Kong-listed Amax International Holdings Ltd, which holds a 24.8% stake in Greece's Xinhua Casino, suspended trading after the closure was announced. AMAX already posted a loss of HK$48.97 million ($6.31 million) for the fiscal year ending March 31. It is unclear how this action will impact the company's operations in Vanuatu. Armax has been granted permission to start operations in the Pacific Island nation for just over a year after acquiring a 60% stake in Fornzia Enterprise Ltd., which holds a 15-year gaming license.

Local media reported that Maria Helena de Sena Fernandez, head of MGTO, briefed news outlets today that "closing the hotel is neither an easy nor hasty decision." "While it is clear that the closure has in some way affected Macau's tourism image, a more important consideration for this decision is that we should consider the public interest in general," she continued.
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Sunday, October 22, 2023

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