Casino Watch Focus has reported the many ways Covid-19 is impacting the gambling industry. As the amount of infected and subsequent death toll rises, more and more are starting to tread the virus with respect and make adjustments to help ensure safety. One idea has been to ban smoking. A large number of casinos have instituted such bans, though it’s unclear how long they will last. It of course adds to a greater debate about public safety in general and the responsibility of casinos to protect non-smokers from harm. An online source explains:
More than 125 casinos and dozens of other gaming sites across the U.S. that allowed smoking in pre-COVID days are now nonsmoking. That raises a question: Will it last?
Some casinos plan to lift their ban when face masks or other coronavirus safety measures are no longer required. Others see this as a good time to test whether one of the last bastions of legalized smoking in a public space can give up the habit. Advocates for smoke-free gaming say the industry sends a mixed message about protecting customers and employees if it establishes extensive coronavirus safeguards, then allows the hazards of secondhand smoke.
How gamblers and the industry accept smoke-free play as a public-health measure could help determine whether more casinos join the vast majority of workplaces and businesses where smoking is prohibited.
“The casino industry for years and years has worried about it,” said Conrad Granito, general manager of Muckleshoot Casino in Auburn, Washington. “You’re definitely seeing changes, but there’s still a core group (of gamblers who smoke).”
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