In the casino industry, the historical conventional wisdom was that casinos need to allow smoking. Anecdotal scenarios where non-smoking attempts failed only served to reinforce that narrative for a time.
Meanwhile, the world continued to evolve, and one change was the continued shrinking of the smoking population. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, while 20.9% of the population in the United States smoked in 2005, only 11.5% were smokers in 2021 – a reduction of nearly 50% in just 15 years.
While other public spaces have gone permanently smokefree during this same period of time, such as restaurants and hotels, casinos have, at least until recently, held stubbornly to those outdated norms, even receiving exemptions to smokefree laws in some cases despite overwhelming evidence that this creates dangerous environments. This is true for both casino workers and players who aren’t smokers, but are forced to breathe in second-hand smoke.
The COVID-19 pandemic finally forced a rethinking at many casinos, and the news since has been positive. Many casinos have dared to challenge the conventional wisdom, reopening smoke free, and retaining a smokefree stance ever since. Others have leaned into the positive guest feedback of a non-smoking space and have either added or maintained a truly non-smoking gaming experience.
And despite warnings that casinos would take a major hit if they eliminated smoking, many have found that to simply not be the case.
As more players have come to appreciate and expect smoke-free gaming experiences, we’ve created this players’ guide to help offer some guidance as to how to find these options across the United States. And, because we regularly see people asking about Las Vegas non-smoking gaming options, we’ve incorporated a section here just for those players, and we have a couple of excellent options to recommend.