Will Vegas Casinos Ban Smoking?

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Could Las Vegas Casinos Go Smoke-Free?  

The rest of the nation has already done the obvious – Banned smoking of cigarettes indoors to preserve the health of guests and employees on the job. Smoking in casinos has been a target of governing bodies in a growing number of states to include Delaware, Illinois, and even the gambling mecca of Macau.  

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 15.5% of American adults identified as smokers in 2016, down from 20.9% in 2005. With a clear trend downward in smoking, how much longer will Las Vegas Casinos allow smoking? How much longer will employees that don’t smoke put up with the risks associated with the job? Will the non-smoking public continue to tolerate the habit indoors? 

See Also: Las Vegas packing list items that are frequently overlooked. 

Currently, the Nevada Clean Air Act bans smoking in all indoor establishments excluding Casinos, tobacco retail stores, strip clubs, brothels, private residences, and stand-alone bars prohibiting patrons under the age of 21. Smoking is not allowed in certain areas of the casino/resort though – Las Vegas restaurants, theaters, arcades, etc. are all required to be smoke-free. 

Although only 15.5% of the population still smokes, casinos are resistant to changing the status quo and the reason is the immediate shot to revenue that has resulted from bans in other parts of the country. In NOLA.Com article, Caesars Entertainment claimed Harrah’s New Orleans suffered a loss of $70 million in revenue over a 2-year period after a smoking ban was implemented. Gaming revenue decreases have also been seen in other jurisdictions that have banned smoking. Clearly not a favorable situation for casino operators in Las Vegas.  

If you don’t like smoke, you can find reprieve in a botanical area… but there is no gambling in there… quite a predicament.

The reason Las Vegas casinos want you to keep lighting up is clear – Smokers are more loyal gamblers than non-smokers statistically. A study from the University of Connecticut showed that “daily smokers gambled on more days and spent more money gambling; they also ‘craved’ gambling more and had lower perceived control over their gambling”. I’d want more smokers in my casino too!  

While the public may have a choice to gamble or not at a casino that allows smoking, employees and dealers are often held hostage, exposed to a steady dose of carcinogens. A 2009 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study looked took urine samples from non-smoking casino dealers at 3 separate Las Vegas properties. The results showed that “Casino dealers were found to have increasing levels of NNAL (a cigarette carcinogen) in their urine over an 8-hour work shift showing that the cigarette smoke and a carcinogen are being taken up into their bodies”.

Dealers have even taken to the picket line to protest smoking in Las Vegas casinos arguing that a state-wide ban would be the best way to protect employees.

On our Facebook page, we ran the most unscientific, unofficial, and likely unreliable poll ever. But hell, it’s likely just as accurate as the polls leading up to the 2016 Presidential Election.

We asked the question “Should Las Vegas Casinos be smoke-free?” With the options being “yes” or “no”. The poll received 735 votes with 55% of respondents saying that no, they would not want Vegas casinos to ban lighting up.  

The gambling public clearly thinks you should retain the right to light up in Vegas.

There is an anti-smoking tide sweeping the world driven by fewer people smoking and increased concern for health and wellness. As much as some Vegas visitors will dislike it, eventually corporations and governments alike will move to protect the majority from the smoking minority. Eventually, the health of many will be put ahead of profits and a dip in revenue.

If you can ban smoking in Macau, you can ban it anywhere.  

Smoke ’em while you got ’em. It may not be tomorrow. It may not be next week or even next year, but you’ll eventually have to step outside, or into a special “smoking area” to burn in Las Vegas. 

October 2020 Update: Park MGM has reopened following the shutdown as a completely smoke-free casino. Although it is the first smokeless casino in Vegas, it could represent the first domino to fall, leading to widespread adoption of the new rule.

See Also: Buy the same fragrances used on Las Vegas casino floors!

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17 thoughts on “Will Vegas Casinos Ban Smoking?”

  1. Please ban smoking like Delaware Park in Delaware. It’s a pleasure to gamble smoke free. I don’t smoke my husband does and he doesn’t mind going outside for cigarette. It’s nice to smell the food from restaurants and coffee brewing etc instead of 5500 chemicals floating in air causing many cancers. Non smokers like casinos too

  2. Smokers do not care about their health, the majority of the population does. Just because they want to light up, lose everything they own others should not have to end up with lung infections, cancer. There are deadly chemicals including radiation from the ground tobacco is grown in. I could not believe old people on oxygen gambling their life away recently in TI. TI Las Vegas caters to hicks from the south cowboy hats, shorts flip flops. Eventually smokers will have to move to an area outside. It’s coming

  3. When I lived in Nashville. TN area, our nearest casino was in Metropolis, IL, and it was no smoking through out. We loved going there and gambling without having someone sit next to you and light up.
    Now, I live in southwest Florida and uggggg, the Seminole casinos in Tampa and Immokalee are smokers havens, and we have to bring a change of clothes for the drive home. Yes, they have smoke free areas, but you have to walk through the smoked filled rooms to get to them, and they are minor compare to the rest of the casino.

  4. I think that casinos should go smoke-free. I would encourage them to market to non-smokers. Also they should factor in other costs when determining if going smoke free is a money loser before they claim this:

    * Cost savings of employee health and less absenteeism due to healthier air in the casino.

    * Cost savings of not having to replace furniture, equipment, and ceiling tiles, and others due to having clean air instead of smoky air.

    * Reduced fire insurance premium

    * and other savings

  5. I agree 100% that smoking should be banned in all casinos and in all states. I have always wondered why it is OK for the 10 or 15% of people in casinos to poison the air for all of us. Why is it illegal to smoke indoors of any business in the United States but we can all be poisoned by smoking persons that don’t give a crap about anyone but themselves in casinos. It is proven that smoking is responsible for cancers, lung diseases, and an overall unpleasant air to try to breathe. I think that a law should pertain to all. I can’t believe that everyone in casino management/ownership smoke—Just worried about the profits? We all have to pay extra for health insurance and treatment of diseases. Please stop all the Smoking in casinos!

  6. I have been coming to Vegas twice a year since the mid 90’s and the smoke is a huge problem for us as we can’t enjoy or Video Poker without being annoyed by the snoke that is EVERYWHERE! I hope the city/state eventually bans it in ALL Las Vegas casinos.

  7. I remember my mom coming to Las Vegas with a friend and they stayed at Cosmopolitan. I went to visit her with the family and remember walking through the casino several times, and while smelling it, I couldn’t see where it was coming from – most gamblers weren’t smokers. But it’s always that one person who ruins it for everybody else. The next day, my clothing wreaked from it…pretty classless for such a high-class resort.

  8. It takes a courageous CEO to take the first step.
    I hope that somewhere like Wynn tries the experiment. If they kept the original Wynn as a smoking venue and made Encore completely non smoking they could cater to both groups and measure the effect. If Encore really suffers then switch it back. But at least try. Imagine if Encore was more popular and profitable as a non smoking venue!! Then other casinos would follow and we would all be healthy!!

    1. I am so happy to hear that so many people are boycotting Las Vegas because of the smoking. My husband and I would love to go to Vegas, but when I visited there many years ago I couldn’t breathe in the casinos and absolutely will not return unless the casinos become nonsmoking!!!!! We will patronize the Delaware and New York casinos that care about the health and wellbeing of their customers and their employees.

  9. Vegas bound next week! I’m gonna smoke 3 at a time. When I don’t have a heater in my jaw, I’ll be blowing clouds of vape in the faces of anyone within 10ft. Can’t wait to see those faces as I wait to collect my winnings!

  10. Ok, so now what about smoking while C-19 is a risk? How are smokers going to wear masks, and carry on the repeated and to mouth movements which are being discouraged? Then they touch machines, cards, everything with their filthy hands that they have just had on their faces. Ick. And smaller casinos let people smoke whether they gamble or not. And they can bring their own smokes in! Can we bring in our own alcohol? Shouldn’t establishments treat them both the same? Isn’t this a bit inconsistent?

  11. The workers and patrons have the choice to NOT GO. It’s that simple. I don’t go to bars because I don’t drink. Alcohol kills a lot of people too.

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