Park MGM May Ban Smoking

By Ben Hamill - July 24 2020
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Park MGM May Ban Smoking

A steal-photograph captured inside of a still-closed Park MGM Casino hints at Park becoming the first casino on the Las Vegas Strip getting ready to ban smoking. And judging by the specific wording of the sign, if such an assumption can indeed be made, it certainly appears to be an arrangement of a more permanent nature than just for the duration of the global health crisis.

But rumours of a possible smoking ban started long before the “Let’s Clear the Air. Park MGM is smoke-free.”-sign emerged on social media this month. In early June, only a couple of days shy of a reopened Las Vegas, a popular Vegas insider blog ran a story about Park MGM having reached out to some of its “best” players (read: regulars, big spenders – high rollers), prodding those players about whether or not they would accept and/or take kindly to an outright smoking ban. Loyalty club members were also asked to indicate their feelings and thoughts regarding smoking restrictions.

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Gambling And Smoking

The above sequence of events, not excluding the nature of the wording of the previously mentioned sign, certainly hints at Park MGM’s move toward a smoke-free zone being a permanent arrangement. If this were to be the case, then once implemented, Park MGM will become the first ever 100% smoke-free Las Vegas Strip gaming venue.

But while some players will without a doubt enjoy getting to play the games of their choice in a smoke-free, clean-air environment, others may not be overwhelmed with positive feelings at being forbidden to light up. Smoking while gambling has over the years become a vice legal of sorts; a co-existing part of gambling culture. Some players view smoking as an integral part of the enjoyment of gambling.

May Be A Marketing Trick

For Park MGM specifically, implementing a no-smoking rule may, strange as though this may seem, be part of a clever marketing ploy. Since Park MGM does not yet enjoy the quintessential brand recognition associated with venues such as the Bellagio, the Venetian, or even Caesars Palace, implementing a smoke-free environment may actually set the venue apart and create a differentiation of sorts.

Many Vegas casinos have in the meantime temporarily banned smoking due to health-related reasons. Since the wearing of masks in Nevada casinos are now compulsory due to the global health crisis, and until further notice from Gov. Steve Sisolak, requesting players to refrain from lighting up will make it a great deal easier to enforce the wearing of protective face coverings.

But whether permanent or temporary, remains to be seen.

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