The Casino Smoking Debate: Should There Be a Ban on Smoking?

The Casino Smoking Debate: Should There Be a Ban on Smoking?

We know the studies about second-hand smoke. We know that there have been numerous studies worldwide proving that secondhand smoke is much more dangerous to the health than most of us thought. Tons of illnesses are associated with it. But a lot of times it seems like casinos and cigarette smoking goes together (and a nice cigar as well). Players know second-hand smoking is a bad thing – but it usually seems like most players even though aware of the risks hardly care.

Wherever you go in most casinos in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, or any major casino around the world you’ll find cigarette bunnies walking around the casino area selling nicotine-based products. With all the tension around the tables (poker, blackjack and baccarat tables for example – especially high limits) grabbing a quick smoke can sometimes seem irresistible for players when they’ve had a couple drinks of alcohol and really enjoying themselves – or are really depressed from horrendous play. Well, this whole smoking debate is causing legislators to come up with laws pertaining to secondhand smoke in casinos. Anti-smoking laws are being pushed for implementation in some states and cities.

There’s been some major debate among top professional casino players whether regulations to stop smoking inside the casino gaming area should be implemented or not. You’ll find opinions on both sides of this matter. There’s awareness of players on the dangers of second-hand smoking. There’s also been wide-reaching information campaigns on smoking in casinos and helping to educate players on the risk that second hand smoke could give to other players. The main issue rests with legislators. Many interest groups advise the complete ban on smoking on different events and casino conferences.

There have been studies and research conducted that have concluded that casino workers on the casino floor where smokers are present have a higher rate of exposure to second-hand smoke than an average person. It’s also been proven that people exposed to second-hand smoke have a greatly increased risk of developing cancer and heart disease. On the other side of this debate, we have casino owners that, while stating their concern on the risk of casino second-hand smoke, have also stressed the potential loss of revenue that a smoking ban may result into the casino businesses. Although they would like to be a part of this no-smoking campaign, the fear of having a low business turn out is greatly feared.

What makes the issue even more complicated is that many casino workers are against a smoking ban! They are hesitant to agree on no-smoking policies and regulations because they know what might happen – less tipping from casino players who used to buy dozens of cigarettes and even possibly losing their jobs from less people frequenting their casinos and possibly going strictly to online casinos.

Those that smoke in casinos know the problems associated with heavy smoking but it’s just an accepted casino fact that smoking has always been a part of gambling – for better or worse. There’s so many casino players that couldn’t imagine themselves throwing down a game of blackjack or poker or slots without having a puff on their cigarette or cigar. A lot of players concentrate on their game by puffing on their favorite companion – a cigarette from their pack of smokes or a nice cuban cigar. Whether you agree or disagree with a casino smoking ban let’s have an open discussion on all possibilities on this topic. These discussions need to be properly heard by our legislators and discussed in an open forum.

Do you think smoking should be banned in brick-and-mortar casinos?