Customer Reviews Also Influenced Decision: “The Number One Complaint Was Only the Stench on the Property From the Smoke.”

Americans for Nonsmokers Rights

Berkeley, CA – Another casino is voluntarily going smokefree as momentum builds to protect workers and patrons at casinos across the country. Isleta Resort & Casino in New Mexico held a press conference yesterday announcing their new permanent smokefree policy.

“We applaud Isleta Resort & Casino for listening to their employees and becoming the latest casino to make its temporary smokefree casino policy permanent in order to protect workers from deadly secondhand smoke,” said Cynthia Hallett, president and CEO of Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights. “Casino workers around the country are tired of dealing with smoke on-the-job and are speaking out for their right to a safe and healthy workplace. It’s also noteworthy that Isleta held a press conference for this announcement, rather than quietly making the change, which is an indication that they believe this policy will help to attract more visitors if they know the smoke will be gone. We encourage casinos that continue to allow indoor smoking, an outdated business practice that is now a competitive disadvantage, to listen to their customers and employees and finally put an end to indoor smoking.” 

In case you missed it:

KRQE TV: Isleta Resort & Casino makes COVID-era casino smoking ban permanent

After years of enforcing a COVID-19-motivated smoking ban in their casino, Isleta Resort & Casino is making the change official and permanent. Casino management said in a press conference Wednesday that they made the decision after their employees overwhelmingly voted to remain smoke-free after the pandemic and after listening to customers.

“I would read guest reviews from the hotel and the casino, and the number one complaint was only the stench on the property from the smoke. We didn’t really like it to begin with, but… it’s what was done. It’s what our competition was doing,” said Interim Chief Executive Officer Diana Howard.

The casino will still feature an outdoor smoking area for guests who want to smoke.

Old arguments in favor of keeping indoor smoking are outdated and don’t reflect current attitudes and concerns of guests and workers. Las Vegas-based researchers C3 Gaming analyzed revenue performance in several competitive casino markets and found smokefree casinos generated more revenue. “Data from multiple jurisdictions clearly indicates that banning smoking no longer causes a dramatic drop in gaming revenue,” reads the C3 report. “In fact, non-smoking properties appear to be performing better than their counterparts that continue to allow smoking.”


Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights (ANR) is a member-supported, non-profit advocacy group that has been working for over 45 years, since 1976, to protect everyone’s right to breathe nontoxic air in workplaces and public places, from offices and airplanes to restaurants, bars, and casinos. ANR has continuously shined a light on the tobacco industry’s interference with sound and life-saving public health measures and successfully protected 61% of the population with local or statewide smokefree workplace, restaurant, and bar laws. ANR aims to close gaps in smokefree protections for workers in all workplaces, including bars, music venues, casinos, and hotels. For more information, please visit and