From the cigarette-inhaling poker player to the cigar-chomping high roller, smoking while gambling has been part of Nevada since the first casinos opened.
But things may be changing in the era of COVID-19, which doesn’t mix well with smoking.
Casinos are boasting protections of all sorts to lure nervous patrons back — plexiglass partitions, the circulation and filtering of air, and face mask requirements.
But those protocols often don’t include smoking or protecting casino workers from it. So the question keeps coming up: Should casinos finally go smoke-free?
One has: Last week, Park MGM reopened as the first non-smoking property on the Strip in 26 years. Hotel management said guests asked for it.
With other casinos making tweaks in their smoking policies, is Las Vegas turning a page on one of its longest traditions?
David Schwartz is a gaming author and the associate vice provost for Faculty Affairs at UNLV, where he also served as the director of the Center for Gaming Research.
David Schwartz, gaming historian and professor, UNLV; Kelli Goatley-Seals, President, Nevada Tobacco Prevention Coalition and Health Educator Coordinator, Washoe County Health District
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