It seems that non-smoking casino lovers are winning the battle in Las Vegas. The Cosmopolitan confirmed that smoking was officially prohibited in all public walkways, as well as resort corridor, a change taking place on September 11 and effective immediately.
According to a spokeswoman for the company, this change aims “to protect the health and wellbeing of guests and employees.”
The reason why smoking was prohibited was not just due to reducing reducing smoke (and second-hand smoke). There’s also evidence that the spread of Covid-19 could be greater in closed areas. Smokers need to remove their masks for their cigarette, which increases the risk of the virus spreading inside the property. Cosmopolitan officials want to minimize the hazard by making sure that visitors wear masks all the time.
Smoking is not completely banned from Cosmopolitan, according to Las Vegas Review Journal. People are still allowed to smoke while they are seated on the casino floor when playing slots or table games and are free to smoke at a lounge and in the sportsbook.
Another reason why smoking was limited in Cosmopolitan was to stay competitive. Namely, MGM Resorts announced that Park MGM would be completely smoke-free once it reopened its doors to visitors on September 30. MGM aims to make Park MGM the first-ever casino resort that’s completely smoke-free.
Other Casinos Join the Movement
Cosmopolitan was not the only property to reduce smoking as a response to MGM. Las Vegas Sands also made a move to decrease smoking in all their Las Vegas properties. Dealers were instructed to ask gamblers who smoke or vape not to while playing table games, a policy that has been in effect since June 18.
Casino operators didn’t make such decisions on their own. In fact, there was a survey in August that showed that 72% of respondents wanted more restricted smoking in casinos. According to Brendan Bussman from Global Market Advisors, this is actually just a result of the pandemic. Casinos across the country implemented smoking bans as a response to Covid-19, meaning these bans are temporary – for now. Bussman did state that smoking is going away gradually and that it will have a “smaller and smaller footprint on the casino floor.”
The state of Pennsylvania is already working on similar measures, as House Bill 2298 aims to reduce smoking in casinos. The bill states that 75% of the casino floor should be smoke-free and that there should be special smoke-designated areas in casinos. Pennsylvania will close the loopholes which casinos use to allow smoking to players who are seated.
Overall, the number of smokers has reduced significantly in the last couple of decades, and casinos need to adapt to the change. After all, having a smoke-designated area has been the practice in many restaurants and cafes all over the world, and casinos shouldn’t be exempted from doing the same thing.
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