More Than Half of Nevada Casino Goers Support Blanket Smoking Ban

  • The Park MGM is the only smoke-free casino in Las Vegas currently
  • Nevada’s Clean Indoor Air Act doesn’t relate to casinos in the state
  • Casino workers in NJ have battled for a long time to get a smoking ban
A new study highlights how the majority of voters in Las Vegas are in favor of banning smoking at casinos.[Image:]

Plenty of support

A new study shows that the majority of voters in Nevada support a ban on indoor smoking at the state’s casinos. The Park MGM is the only gaming property in Las Vegas that doesn’t allow smoking and most major properties don’t even have areas that prohibit cigarettes.

60% of the respondents in the city said that they would be in favor of prohibiting smoking in all workplaces, including casinos, nightclubs, restaurants, bars, movie theaters, malls, offices, and grocery stores.

61% of the people surveyed said that they would be more likely to go to a totally smoke-free casino

While many casino companies contend that a ban would hurt revenue, 61% of the people surveyed said that they would be more likely to go to a totally smoke-free casino. Focusing on the individuals who frequently visit casinos, 55% of them were in favor of the ban, with 43% opposing it.

The Nevada Tobacco Control and Smoke-Free Coalition commissioned Normington Petts to carry out the research, which interviewed 800 registered voters by phone call or text in January. The coalition’s manager Nicole Chacon welcomed the results of the survey, saying that it is good to know that even if the opposition can spend more money opposing change, “Nevada voters would still continue to support it.”

Opposing views

Nevada’s Clean Indoor Air Act came into place in 2006 and stopped indoor smoking in workplaces, with casinos and standalone bars the main exceptions. The companies that operate gaming facilities carry a lot of political sway. MGM Resorts International currently employs more people than any other institution in Nevada. Casinos believe, if a ban comes into place, patrons will go to other jurisdictions or tribal facilities to be able to smoke while gambling.

While the nationwide smoking rate dropped to 11.5% in 2021 from 21% in 2005, 15% of Nevadans still had a propensity to smoke.

Research from the University of Nevada, Reno shows that second-hand smoke is 18 times deadlier when indoors versus outdoors. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) carried out its own study last year and it found dangerous levels of particulate matter in smoke-free areas at certain casinos and as a result, it recommended a complete ban.

Experiences in other states

Attempts to completely prevent smoking in other states with major gambling markets have run into trouble in recent years. The most notable example is in New Jersey where workers at Atlantic City properties have campaigned vigorously to try to bring an end to the activity, citing the dangers of second-hand smoke.

casino companies claiming that their revenue could drop 11%

While New Jersey currently doesn’t allow smoking indoors at the majority of workplaces, gaming properties can have up to 25% of their gaming floors available to smokers. Legislative attempts to make changes have not made much headway, with casino companies claiming their revenue could drop 11% and lead to the loss of 2,500 jobs if a ban came into effect.

A casino that did go smoke-free and is still seeing plenty of success is the Parx Casino in Pennsylvania. It is the only gaming property in the state to voluntarily do so and is still the clear leader in this market. Many other states already have blanket bans in place, including New York, Illinois, and Florida.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *