Travel Blog

Smoke Filled Casinos

Smoke Filled CasinosThis post is about smoke filled casinos,  the amount of smoke, second hand smoke and chemicals from deodorizer being sprayed in US casinos. It may seem like a funny post to a diet information blog, however I am really on a roll here against situations that cause a lot of hardship and expense to otherwise healthy people. Most people do moot even give it a seconds thought, but if these chemicals bother you, then you really are much more aware.

I recently experienced a severe case of bronchitis brought on by a combination of a short cold, being in a smoked filled casino and deodorizer used heavily to combat the smell of second hand smoke. Some people may ask, why didn’t you just leave. The answer is I did , but not before this combination had done its number on my body and I was able to figure out the connection.

Once we left this contaminated environment, I immediately began to improve, but why should I have to deal with this. I have the same rights as everyone else?

The Situation In Casinos – Smoke Filled Casinos

I am sure this is not true but it seems that 80% of people who go to a casino smoke. Whenever they hit a small jackpot, they light up in celebration , take a drink and away they go again. Some ignorant folks even smoke cigars in these confined spaces. The result is a filthy ( ashes everywhere), smoky air filled environment that would turn anyone off.

The casinos compensate by increasing the air flow in some and adding deodorizer of various kinds in the  casino main area. The problem is that this bad air finds its way through and into just about everything. Your clothes, the slot machines you touch, the hallways, and yes even that non smoking room that you ordered.

The result is the casinos spray deodorizer everywhere to try to compensate for the over powering smell. When you walk into some of the really bad ones, it is like a foul smell of a corpse that has been decomposing for months.

Why Don’t the Casinos Do Something?

The answer is a combination of fear and money. Obviously the smoking patrons bring in a lot of money to the casino, they are good customers and the casinos do not want to risk losing them to other casinos. This is the fear part. Losing a casino patron means they are not spending money in their slot machines or at their tables, they are not eating in their restaurants and they are not staying in their rooms.

Although there is a big revenue income from smoking patrons, there is a downside to this situation as well for the casinos. Everything smells, there is nicotine on everything and there are all of those ashes which end up on the floor or on the machines. It all has to be cleaned and at a huge cost. In addition electronics do not like bad air and they do not like sticky nicotine building up on components. Slot machines in smoking casinos require a lot more maintenance than in non smoking casinos.

So far the casinos have been unwilling to take the risk of losing their smoking customers and saving millions of dollars in cleaning fee’s by banning smoking in casinos. This is a huge fear they have in a very competitive business!

What Will it Take to Get them To Change

First of all one casino or one casino chain is not going to make this change on their own. The world is just too competitive and they are unwilling to take the risk of losing so much business by banning smoking.

A state like Nevada might be willing to legislate the change, however the state is very dependent on revenues from gambling and probably is unwilling to do anything to rock the boat. After all almost every state has casinos running now and all of these other states would be more than happy to take some of the business from Las Vegas.

I really think that if the federal government mandated all casinos to eliminate smoking in the casinos, the casino owners would quietly embrace the notion and support such a bill. The reason would be that there still is a level playing field and everyone must play by the same rules.

Canada Did It – Got Rid of Smoke Filled Casinos

The casinos in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec are all non smoking casinos AND they are packed. Sure there might have been a temporary drop in business. However the gamblers could not stay away. Once they found out that the smokers were still welcome under certain conditions they flocked back. Maintenance costs are way down and the air is clean and breathable in these casinos.

The Canadian casinos made 3 fundamental changes which allowed a compromise and yet meet more customer needs. First they banned smoking in the casinos which made the non smokers happy. Now more of them come to the casino for their evenings entertainment.

Secondly , the Canadian casinos created smoking rooms for the smokers to go to to grab a quick puff or two. This means taking a break from the slot machine. But at least they are in the building and spending money as usual.

Third and I think this was the most important part. The casinos support the reservation of a slot machine. Or a seat at a table for a short amount of time. If you are a smoker and need a brake for a quick smoke, you can reserve your slot machine. Off you go to grab that quick smoke. Most people are only gone for a minute or two. Then they are right back to their slot machine gambling once more.

Everyone is happy. Sure the casino might experience a slightly lower throughput of money per machine, due to the seat reservation system, however with more players in the casino their over all throughput is actually up! Maybe it will happen in the US some day!

Comments are welcome.


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