October 25, 2021
“Significant Market of People Out There Who Were Looking for…a Smoke-Free Casino”
Las Vegas, NV— Going smokefree indoors has been “a very positive differentiator” that appeals to “a significant market of people,” said Park MGM President Ann Hoff over the weekend in comments made to Las Vegas Advisor when asked about the Strip’s only smokefree resort:
“We found through our research that there was a significant market of people out there who were looking for smoke-free options, specifically a smoke-free casino. Fortunately for us, that has been very very well received. […] So all in all, I would say we’ve received incredibly positive feedback from our guests and, being the first entirely non-smoking casino in Las Vegas, it’s a very positive differentiator.”
“Park MGM illustrates the big opportunity for the gaming industry by going smokefree indoors. Not only are smokefree casinos good for employee and guest health, they are also good for business,” said Cynthia Hallett, President and CEO of Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights. “Times have changed, and fewer people smoke than ever before. Casinos have business to gain by ridding their casino floors of smoke and making their entertainment offerings more appealing to the vast majority of people who prefer a smokefree environment, especially as the pandemic has changed how we think about our health in public spaces. We applaud Park MGM’s leadership and common sense decision to protect its workers and listen to what customers are saying.”
Brian Christopher, a YouTube casino influencer and founder of BCSlots whose videos reach millions of players online, conducted a survey of BCSlots fan club members found the following:
- 78% say now is the time to make all casinos smokefree;
- 88% of the smokers say they would patronize non-smoking casinos that offer an outdoor area with slot machines where smoking is allowed;
- 94% of respondents believe secondhand smoke is harmful to health;
- 94% of frequent gamblers prefer smokefree indoor air casinos, including 88% of those who smoke; and
- Among higher income, frequent gamblers, a higher percentage of them are nonsmokers.
In August, the American Gaming Association (AGA) published a report showing that U.S. commercial gaming revenue hit an all-time high of $13.6 billion in the second quarter of 2021 – a period during which casinos across the country operated under smokefree indoor policies. While some industry officials have suggested smokefree indoor policies are unnecessary by pointing to recent upgrades to air filtration systems, HVAC experts clarified that such upgrades are not effective against the harms of secondhand smoke.
ABOUT AMERICANS FOR NONSMOKERS’ RIGHTS
Americans for Nonsmoker’s Rights (ANR) is a member-supported, non-profit advocacy group that has been working for 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 https://no-smoke.org/ and https://smokefreecasinos.org/.