Baton Rouge workplaces – including casinos and bars – will be 100% smokefree indoors starting June 1, 2018! Gaming jobs, revenue, and entertainment without deadly secondhand smoke is a Win-Win-Win for the community.
This policy will be a great step for the health of a large hospitality sector workforce including musicians, bartenders, casino staff, and more. Baton Rouge will be an even more attractive city for meetings, conventions and a great travel destination for the 85% of US adults who are nonsmokers.
Baton Rouge smokefree casinos will be in good company: There are now approximately 800 smokefree casinos and gambling venues in the US. – from flagship properties like MGM National Harbor in Maryland, to regional gems like Hollywood Columbus in Ohio, Ameristar Blackhawk in Colorado, and Oxford Casino in Maine.
The gaming industry made anecdotal predictions that smokefree indoor air will impact revenue. Similar claims have not proven to be true in other successful smokefree markets. It’s also worth noting that Baton Rouge gaming revenue has already been trending down significantly in recent years, despite still allowing indoor smoking.
The new Baton Rouge law passed in Fall 2017, but had a delayed implementation until June 2018. Ironically, had the law gone into effect within the normal 30-60 day timeframe, there is little doubt that some in the gaming industry would have incorrectly blamed the current gaming revenue decline on the smokefree law. Obviously, smoking status has not been factor in the revenue changes since the smokefree law isn’t even in effect yet.
Gaming revenue in a regional market is volatile and based on many factors – the economy, weather, convention schedules, driving distance to the nearest casino or the competition, and the industry shifting balance toward non-gaming revenue streams, appealing to a new generation of customers and more.
We want the Baton Rouge smokefree indoor air law to be successful for the all who work in and patronize the gaming hospitality industry. Smokefree laws are popular, but more importantly, save lives.