Do Gamblers Prefer Casinos with Smoking Facilities?

smoking casinos image
Smoking Casinos. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Do players prefer to gamble in smoke-free casinos, or are they more inclined to spend time in a casino that allows smoking?

Imagine you’re sitting in your favourite casino enjoying a fluky game of poker.  As you ready yourself for another successful round, the player next to you whips out a large cigar and lights up, filling the air with second-hand smoke.  Immediately you start coughing and decide to fold and depart from the table, visibly annoyed.

The rules regarding smoking at casinos vary from place to place.  While some jurisdictions permit it, others have a blanket ban on any type of smoking including, odourless electric cigarettes.

The Facts About Smoking

Smoking is a global scourge, being the leading cause of preventable deaths.  In the US alone, half a million people die annually from smoking.  However, the encouraging news is that percentage of smokers in the younger age groups is low and continues to decline.  This trend is bound to bring overall figures down considerably over the next 20 years. However, many former smokers and new ones have now switched to vaping, and it will take some time for the effects of this shift to be entirely ascertained.

Smoking in Las Vegas

In much of Nevada, smoking is illegal. However, Las Vegas is one place where smokers are welcome to light up nearly everywhere. Visitors to Sin City can smoke in casinos specifically because minors are not allowed inside and aren’t allowed to gamble. The local law also permits smoking in most taverns and bars, as well as strip clubs and brothels. Many convention centres across Nevada also sanction smoking in designated areas.

What Percentage of Vegas Gamblers Smoke?

Although local casinos report that as many as 70 per cent of gamblers in Las Vegas smoke, research studies point that the actual number of smokers is much lower, hovering around 20 per cent. Researchers also discovered that smaller and more rural casinos outside Las Vegas had higher smoker numbers.

The studies further found that about 36 per cent of casino gamblers who play in smaller casinos tend to smoke. This is because most gamblers who play in Vegas are not from the city but are visiting from other places. On the other hand, people gambling in other parts of the state are primarily from Nevada. Additionally, people from smaller towns are known to smoke more than residents of large urban areas.

Do People Prefer to Gamble in Smoking-Friendly Casinos?

Researchers have found that players gamble more when they are allowed to smoke. Some studies believe that when gamblers simultaneously wager and smoke, they sink into a self-induced trance, often referred to as “in the zone”. Researchers also discovered that when punters are forced to leave the floor to smoke, they would simply leave the casino.  However, other studies note the difficulty non-smoking gamblers have in casinos where smoking is permitted.

In fact, when non-smoking gamblers come across a smoke-friendly casino, they often choose not to go in. According to researchers, one reason for this behaviour is that the gambler might be an ex-smoker, and the odour of smoke might evoke temptations. Another reason is that some people are hypersensitive to smoke or have lung disease. Specific lung ailments, such as asthma, make it challenging for gamblers to breathe in a smoke-filled environment.

What Should You Do?

In some cases, state or provincial laws prohibit casinos from allowing people to smoke. Other jurisdictions let businesses make the decision themselves. While all Canadian casinos prohibit smoking inside, European and US casinos have both smoking and non-smoking gambling floors.

Other casinos permit people to smoke in high-roller areas or VIP poker rooms. To get around the legislation, casinos designate these areas as members-only, allowing people to gamble and smoke simultaneously.

To make the best out of your next casino visit, be sure to check the national gambling legislation and the casino’s smoking policy.  Additionally, you might want to check the vaping laws since certain places forbid smoking but allow vaping.  Ultimately, if your favourite casino is non-smoking and you are a smoker, take a puff before you go in and make regular smoking breaks between your games.

Picture of Bojan Lipovic - Digital Project Manager

Bojan Lipovic - Digital Project Manager

Besides polishing his SEO skills, Bojan has a penchant for creative writing. With over half a decade of experience in the online gambling industry under his belt, his written take on the latest news from the Canadian and global gambling industries is an indispensable source of information for the CASINOenquirer team. Bojan’s primary goal is to ensure that players get a superior experience through the top-notch content that he shares.

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