A spokesperson for a domestic gaming company said when asked about the possibility that “the company will not deal with speculation.”

However, the writing may be on the wall.

In November, voters passed Nevada’s Indoor Air Cleaning Act, which bans smoking in most public places, including restaurants, retail stores, and convention areas, as well as hotel lobbies. The change did not affect standalone bars without casino floors, nightclubs, and restaurants.

Spectrum Gaming Group gaming analyst Joseph Weinert suggested that casino exemptions could one day disappear like a huge smoke. “I think it’s a question of when Nevada won’t be, as is the gaming jurisdiction regulated by every other state,” Weinert said. Bill’s Lake Tahoe began quitting smoking in December and is now promoting it as “Tahoe’s only non-smoking casino.”

Non-smoking casinos have been tried in Nevada before. In 1991, smoking was banned in the Silver City Casino, which was then struggling financially and is now closed. The decision to turn the Bills casino into the state’s only non-smoking casino has also had a stronger economic side than health concerns. “It was a decision made locally just to try and try and boost the business in Bills,” said John Packer, a spokesman for Harrah’s Entertainment in Lake Taho.

The Bills are one of three gaming properties owned by Harrah’s Entertainment in the northern Nevada border region. Packer said the Bills are struggling financially compared to the company’s two other properties, Harrah’s Lake Tahoe and Harveys Lake Tahoe.

The Bills, a casino-only facility, has 18,000 square feet of casino space and no actual restaurants except for a Subway sandwich shop. The management felt they needed to try different ideas to lure customers. So the casino went smoke-free, added a ground-floor blackjack, and had 20 times the odds of a crab and a piano bar.

Packer added that while foot traffic has increased in the Bills, it will be difficult to blame non-smoking for that. He also said people should not consider the Bills’ non-smoking casinos as a testing program that could spread to other places for Hara entertainment properties across the state.

Casino floors are still a haven for smokers, but according to a study last year by the University of Nevada Reno, only one in five gamblers in Nevada smoke. Chris Pritsos, president of the university’s Department of Nutrition, said he launched the study to find out how many gamblers smoke.

“Every time we start talking about a ban on smoking, game lobbyists say, ‘70% of our customers smoke,'” Freesos said. “I went to the state legislature and heard them make that statement. I thought it was important to figure out what the actual number was.”

The study, which surveyed 17,723 gamblers statewide from August 2006 to October 2006, found that 21.5% of gamblers smoked in Las Vegas, while 22.6% smoked in Reno-Spark and 17% in Lake Taho.

Data from Las Vegas casinos were collected during Aug. 3 divided into strip and off-strip properties. The study found that 20.3 percent of gamblers smoke in strip properties, while 26.3 percent of gamblers smoke outside the strip.

Fritos said he expected numbers between 30 percent and 40 percent, but added that the study’s figure was close to the U.S. average of 20.9 percent of the general population. Fritos said he had not received any comment from the gaming industry, but the state legislature requested a copy. The study comes as more state legislatures across the country are grappling with non-smoking casinos.

The Illinois Senate on Mar. 29 approved a statewide smoking ban that extends to Riverboat gambling and racetracks. If the state House approves the measure in May, the ban will take effect Jan. 1. An amendment was introduced to phase out casinos and racetracks for three years, but has not been adopted.

In March, Colorado lawmakers amended a House bill extending the ban on smoking in the state to casinos, pushing the effective date to July 1, 2008. The bill was approved by the Senate but must return to the House for review.

Eleven casinos in Atlantic City will have until April 15 to comply with a new law that will require 75% of their gaming venues to be non-smoking. Harrah’s Entertainment and Columbia Sussex Corp. are building smoking rooms for their properties, but they are concerned that the property will take an economic hit.

Weinert said some gaming executives are concerned that customers will go elsewhere to gamble and smoke if smoking is illegal at casinos in one area.

“Beyond the direct economic hit, what the industry is really concerned about is the uneven playing field,” Vainert said. “If Las Vegas operators knew the moment they went into quitting, Indian casinos in California and Arizona also went into quitting smoking, I think they would be less worried.”

Debbie Munch, a spokeswoman for Harrah’s Entertainment, said her company allows customers to request non-smoking tables from any of the eight local properties. However, the public relations manager overseeing the two properties was not aware of the policy. Most poker rooms and some bingo rooms in Las Vegas are non-smoking.

When asked about smoking issues and how the future could affect the Nevada game, a spokesperson for Station Casino and Wynn Las Vegas pointed out that their latest properties have state-of-the-art ventilation systems that minimize the impact of smoking customers on non-smokers.

However, studies seem to refute that claim. The American Association for Heating and Refrigerating Air Conditioning issued a statement in August 2005 saying, “Engineering approaches, including current and advanced dilute ventilation or air cleaning technologies, are unproven or must be relied upon to control health risks.”

Furthermore, a June study published by U.S. Surgeon General Richard Camona said, “While restrictions on smoking can effectively control exposure, they do not have technological access that includes air cleaning or greater exchange of indoor and outdoor air.” Weinert said Nevada’s non-smoking casinos would surprise him if they happened quickly. 바카라사이트 추천스포츠토토

“Given that Nevada’s gaming industry is relatively large compared to any other industry, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Nevada start this latest,” Weinert said. “Certainly every gaming executive recognizes that one day it will be non-smoking. But in the meantime, they have a staunch obligation to maximize profits.”

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