There has been a heated battle over whether casinos in the US should ban smoking within their facilities or not. The business group has remained opposed to the proposal, while the public health group has remained in support. Looking into the issue closely, both side of the divide has a point that could bring both positive and negative impacts on the casino industry in the US.
Impact on casinos that are already smoke-free
Some casinos in the US are already smoke-free. For example, Parx Casino is one of the currently smoke-free casinos in PA. The casino has both land-based and PA online casino that provides betting chances to online gamblers. The casino recorded an impressive performance after it made 687.5 million in revenue in 2021. This is the highest in the state.
The negative impact
Some players believe imposing a smoking ban will negatively impact the sector. They believe its outcome will be massive job losses and a huge revenue decline. Those who rely on the sector, such as the vendors, will get significantly hurt economically.
There have been concerns about how smoking kills and its effects on those who live with smokers. However, the sector employs a large number of workers whose families will suffer if they lose their jobs.
Response from the public health institutions
The public health institutions are in total disagreement with the casino stakeholders. According to them, casinos are placing their interests above the interests of public health. The casino’s stakeholders are only concerned about the financial loss within their facilities without recognizing the cost of treating those who fall sick due to smoking.
How would a smoking ban impact casinos in the US?
Effecting a smoking ban in casinos will have significant immediate effects. About 20 percent of guests who visit the facilities are smokers. If they have to go outside the facilities to smoke, they might not return for more gambling.
Due to this, revenue would fall sharply, and some jobs could be lost. However, the issue can also be looked into in terms of long-term impact. For example, if forex traders were banned from a certain facility, there would be an immediate effect, but in the long run, they will find a better solution.
The state of Illinois banned smoking in 2008. There was an immediate drop in revenue but the sector recovered within a short time. Judging by arguments of both sides, there will be a positive and negative impact if a smoking ban was implemented today.