BSI installs enclosures, says they’re ‘fully compliant’

»DPH continues to monitor BSI’s live training facility
The Best Sunshine Live training facility is now walled off from the shopping area of the T Galleria with glass walls and an air curtain. The same enclosure has also been installed at the casino’s south entrance and at the bridge leading to the Hard Rock Café on the second floor. (Frauleine Villanueva-Dizon)

The Best Sunshine Live training facility is now walled off from the shopping area of the T Galleria with glass walls and an air curtain. The same enclosure has also been installed at the casino’s south entrance and at the bridge leading to the Hard Rock Café on the second floor. (Frauleine Villanueva-Dizon)

Best Sunshine International Ltd.’s live training casino inside the T Galleria in Garapan is now in compliance with the Smoke-Free Air Act, with the casino fully enclosed in glass walls.

According to senior vice president for operations Donald Browne, glass enclosures have been installed at the north and south entrances of the casino as well as along the bridge on the second floor that connects the parking area to Hard Rock Café. They also implemented a no smoking policy while the enclosures were being built.

“We’re fully compliant with Public Law 16-46,” Browne told Saipan Tribune.

He said they also continue to use air curtains on the entrances and continue to monitor their compliance.

“We have a very strong filter system,” Browne said. “We added venting so that we have more airflow.”

He pointed out that they have a positive airflow in the casino from the entrances.

“We actually have positive airflow. When you open the door, it actually brings the air in, instead of pushing it out,” he said.

The Bureau of Environmental Health noted during their Dec. 18 inspection that Best Sunshine added slot machines by their Lounge Bar and Noodle Bar but Browne said these areas are considered gaming space.

“They don’t have to be enclosed because they’re part of the casino. The casino’s already enclosed,” he said.

Another policy that was implemented was that visitors under the age of 21 are no longer allowed inside the casino even though they will just pass through the facility.

“Everybody’s happy. They feel much more secure,” he said when asked about the feedback from their neighboring establishments.

Browne said their next step would be to add some scented air inside the casino and they are in the process of ordering the hardware.

“We’re adding some scented air so the perception of smoke won’t be there. Oftentimes it’s the perception of smoke rather than the smoke itself,” Browne said.
Several Hard Rock employees noted that there is less smoke now since the enclosures were installed.

Continued monitoring
The Division of Public Health Services assured that it would continue to monitor the casino’s compliance with the anti-smoking law.

According to BEH environmental health officer John Tagabuel, they monitor the Best Sunshine Live facility every week.

Last Monday, Tagabuel’s team visited the facility to try and detect secondhand smoke as well as talk to managers and employees of Hard Rock and T Galleria.

“As long as there’s smoking in any public place, if there is smoking, we need to look at the adjacent establishment,” Tagabuel told Saipan Tribune.

Along with BEH, the Non-Communicable Disease Bureau of DPH is also making visits determine the air quality in surrounding establishments.

“We’re doing our best at Public Health because our only concern here is the secondhand smoke for the patrons, the children that go into Hard Rock Café. I mean those people that go into the casino, because they’re exempt, there’s no problem. It’s the people that go shopping, it’s the people that go up and eat,” NCDB’s Tobacco and Diabetes Prevention Program coordinator Velma Del Rosario said.

Using equipment from Guam that detects secondhand smoke, the bureau is able to collect data regarding the components of the air in Hard Rock and DFS.

“It picks up nicotine, all those toxins from the cigarette,” Del Rosario said. “It shows what we picked up.”

However, they are not able to interpret the data at this time because they need to send the data out to experts.

“I’m just waiting for our project officer. Once we get that procured, we’ll send it and then they will read it,” Del Rosario said. “Right now what we’re doing is just collecting. We will be doing weekly monitoring.”

She added that they will be doing visits both during the low and high peak times, especially since there were still reports that during Fridays and Saturdays smoke is still present in surrounding establishments when there are a lot of people inside Best Sunshine Live.

Del Rosario said they will base the findings on whether or not the toxin levels are harmful, based on the guidelines set by the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention.

DPH is advising the public to report to them any complaints about smoking inside any facilities on the island.

“We’re not monitoring Best Sunshine alone,” Del Rosario said.

“There’s a lot of public space that folks take for granted [with regards to smoking policies],” Tagabuel added.

Concerns may be reported to 664-4870/72, 234-QUIK, or emailed to john.tagabuel@dph.gov.mp.

Frauleine S. Villanueva-Dizon | Reporter
Frauleine Michelle S. Villanueva was a broadcast news producer in the Philippines before moving to the CNMI to pursue becoming a print journalist. She is interested in weather and environmental reporting but is an all-around writer. She graduated cum laude from the University of Santo Tomas with a degree in Journalism and was a sportswriter in the student publication.

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