As more and more casinos go smokefree, advocates release tool to help gaming companies accurately assess customer preferences
March 23, 2021
Berkeley, CA — Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights (ANR), which advocates for smokefree indoor policies at casinos and in other public places to protect workers’ health, and BCSlots today released a new sample player survey tool that will help casinos better understand their customers’ expectations on smokefree environments and includes the following questions:
- Does secondhand smoke bother you in a casino?
- Regardless of whether smoke bothers you, do you believe smoke bothers casino employees and other guests?
- Do you prefer a casino that is smokefree indoors or one that allows smoking inside?
- In general, when government restrictions put in place for the pandemic are lifted in a community, should casinos maintain a smokefree indoor air policy or return to a policy of allowing smoking indoors?
“We’ve seen a wave of casinos adopting smokefree policies over the last few years, with Tribal casinos in particular leading the way and receiving overwhelming positive feedback,” said Bronson Frick, ANR’s director of advocacy. “We designed this survey to help operators gain a better understanding of their customers’ preferences on smoking so they can make informed decisions on smokefree indoor policies. We’re excited to partner with the industry in this effort because smokefree is good for business and protects employee health.”
“I’m constantly in communication with our fans who are avid gaming enthusiasts. In fact, I hear often from players that they want a clean air environment and that secondhand smoke impacts the frequency and duration of visit,” said Brian Christopher, founder of BCSlots and a YouTube influencer whose videos reach millions of players online.
“2021 marks six years of Ho-Chunk Gaming Madison being smokefree indoors,” said Missy Tracy, municipal relations director at Ho-Chunk Gaming Madison. “This policy has proven successful in helping our business grow and attracting new customers. It has also helped reduce costs on things like servicing air filters and cleaning ashtrays and maximizing the investments in deep cleaning. Our customers and staff appreciate the clean air. We do have an outdoor smoking area for those that want it.”
Christopher’s survey of BC Slots fan club members found the following:
- 78% say now is the time to make all casinos smokefree;
- 88% of the smokers say they would patronize non-smoking casinos that offer an outdoor area with slot machines where smoking is allowed;
- 94% of respondents believe secondhand smoke is harmful to health;
- 94% of frequent gamblers prefer smokefree indoor air casinos, including 88% of those who smoke; and
- Among higher income, frequent gamblers, a higher percentage of them are nonsmokers.
You can see the survey results here, as well as Christopher’s interview with Devin Winsby, marketing director at the sovereign Angel of the Winds Casino, one of the first casinos to implement a smokefree policy in response to COVID. Winsby discusses the business benefits of smokefree indoor air, including increased player club sign-ups.
Just this month, the CDC singled out smokefree indoor casino policies as a “public health win,” the impact of which is “immeasurable in terms of not only protecting the public who attend these venues, but also workers who are working eight hours or more per day in these environments.”
More and more casinos nationwide are going smokefree. At least 160 sovereign Tribal gaming venues have implemented 100% smokefree policies during COVID-19, 23 states require commercial casinos to be smokefree indoors, and nearly 1,100 gaming properties do not permit smoking indoors. Opinion research routinely, and increasingly, shows the vast majority of guests prefer smokefree indoor casinos. That’s not surprising considering that among young adults, 90 percent are nonsmokers.
ABOUT AMERICANS FOR NONSMOKERS’ RIGHTS
Americans for Nonsmoker’s Rights (ANR) is a member-supported, non-profit advocacy group that has been working for 45 years, since 1976, to protect everyone’s right to breathe nontoxic air in workplaces and public places, from offices and airplanes to restaurants, bars, and casinos. ANR has continuously shined a light on the tobacco industry’s interference with sound and life-saving public health measures and successfully protected 61% of the population with local or statewide smokefree workplace, restaurant, and bar law. ANR aims to close gaps in smokefree protections for workers in all workplaces, including bars, music venues, casinos, and hotels. For more information, please visit https://no-smoke.org/ and https://smokefreecasinos.org/.