Casino Consultancy Says Smoking Bans Do Not Harm Gambling

Posted on: June 19, 2022, 10:33 a.m.

Last update: June 19, 2022, 10:34 a.m.

A Las Vegas casino consultancy said its recent survey of the impact of smoking bans on gambling revenue found that eliminating smoking had little or no negative impact on net winnings. of the House.

Las Vegas Casino Smoking Gambling
Poker players at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida. A Las Vegas casino consultancy says banning smoking inside gambling halls has little impact on associated gaming revenue. (Image: Getty)

C3 Gaming is an analytics company that casinos typically contract for market research. But the group says its smoking study was conducted independently, on its own, without funding from any interest group or corporation.

The report attempted to determine whether industry claims that banning smoking leads to reduced gaming revenue and lost customers are true. C3 Gaming concluded not.

Data from multiple jurisdictions clearly indicates that banning smoking is no longer causing a dramatic decline in gaming revenue,” summarizes the C3 Gaming study. “In fact, non-smoking properties seem to be performing better than their counterparts that continue to allow smokers.”

C3 researchers examined how commercial casinos that were forced to temporarily ban indoor smoking amid the COVID-19 pandemic fared against nearby competitors that were not required to go non- smokers. The survey found that outdoor casinos did not experience a decline in gross gaming revenue (GGR) or lose market share to casinos that continued to offer smoking environments.

The C3 study comes as lawmakers in several states, including New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island, are considering smoke-free casino legislation.

COVID changes everything

The C3 Gaming review arrived at the hypothesis that the pandemic has significantly altered consumer behaviors across a range of industries and sectors. And for gaming, the coronavirus has led to the adoption of smoke-free casinos.

The researchers concluded that the majority of non-smokers are no longer content to breathe contaminated and toxic air playing games just to appease the minority of smokers and maintain the status quo that tobacco smoke is simply part of life. gaming experience.

In addition to commercial smoke-free casinos doing very well during mandatory smoking in 2020, many Native American casinos have chosen to voluntarily ban smoking amid the pandemic. Dozens of these tribal casinos later moved to permanently ban indoor smoking after learning that such regulations do not harm gaming revenue. C3 says there are at least 157 tribal casinos operating smoke-free in 2022.

“The pandemic has had a profound effect on consumer attitudes and behaviors across a wide range of industries, including casinos and hotel-casinos, and customers have come to terms with some changes once thought unthinkable,” they said. explained the authors of C3.

Smoking ban could help responsible gambling

While the gaming industry continues to argue that smoking bans are harmful to gambling, one of the potential benefits of eliminating indoor smoke is that it could reduce the societal harm gambling can inflict. .

According to the C2 study, a smoking ban could help problem gamblers limit their losses. C3 researchers point to MGM Resorts’ own Responsible Gaming Policy which advises players: “Once in a while, it’s a good idea to walk away from the game you’re playing.

Taking a break can help you make smarter decisions so that gaming remains what it should be – a fun activity,” advises MGM’s GameSense program.

C3 says casinos recognizing that breaks encourage more reasonable play underscore their desire to have both.

“Their argument that a casino will make more money if smokers stay at their games is the antithesis of one of the tenets of responsible gambling,” the study concludes.