It turns out that smoking bans don’t always equate to no smoking. Confused? You should be. A law in Prince George’s County, near Washington, was passed that makes using electronic cigarettes illegal anywhere smoking is prohibited. But there is one big exception in the newly passed bill. You guess it, a casino.
While others have banned smoking, an amendment to the recently passed law says that vaping will be allowed in any establishment licensed to operate video lottery terminals. That means the upcoming MGM Casino will welcome smokers.
To be fair, this wasn’t lobbied for by MGM executives. That said, it is a welcome ruling, especially with so many gamblers enjoying tobacco products. An executive of MGM said that vaping will be limited to the casino floor, so you won’t be able to smoke in the rooms or in the retail shops.
The problem with regional smoking and vaping bans is that they apply to small geographical areas. If an individual county bans smoking but a neighboring county doesn’t, a casino in one county could gain an unfair advantage over another.
For example, if Casino A is forced to comply with a no-smoking law and Casino B is not, then Casino A could experience a serious decline in traffic and revenue. In some instances where this exact scenario has occurred, one casino witnessed a 16% drop in revenue.
Rather than small regional bans, a state-wide ban would make way more sense. Up in Canada, there are multiple casinos where smoking is prohibited because of a provincial law that covers about 10 million people.
In Niagara Falls, if you want to enjoy a cigarette at Fallsview Casino, you’re out of luck on the gaming floor. Instead, you’ll need to leave the tables or slots and head outside. That’s all good and well in the summer months, but Niagara Falls experiences sub-zero temperatures in the dead of winter, making a smoke break the complete opposite of appealing. Still, people deal with it because that’s the law everywhere.
The same deal exists at the other Niagara casino, creatively title Casino Niagara. Again, the same Ontario law applies to smoking, so if you need some tobacco to ease your stress during that split-split-again-double-down-twice scenario at the Blackjack table, it’s not happening.
At Caesars Windsor, which borders Detroit, you’re also not able to smoke inside. Once again, the same Ontario law applies at the Windsor casino.
While all of these casinos face competition from gambling complexes on the other side of the border, we’re talking about two different laws in two different countries. It’s a lot easier for someone to drive 10 minutes to another casino where smoking is welcome in the same state than it is to cross an international border.
If you’re a smoker and smoking is banned at your favorite casino, you have options. You can play at home at sites like Prism Casino. You’ll find all the best slots, plus a live dealer casino where you can play Blackjack and Roulette against real dealers. Feel free to blow smoke in their face. They won’t know and we won’t tell.