Cosmopolitan Latest Las Vegas Strip Casino to Crack Down on Smoking

Posted on: September 22, 2020, 12:51h. 

Last updated on: September 22, 2020, 01:54h.

The Cosmopolitan hotel-casino on the Las Vegas Strip has banned smoking in some public areas. This comes as the nearby Park MGM prepares to reopen Sept. 30 as the first smoke-free casino on the Strip.

The Cosmopolitan hotel-casino on the Las Vegas Strip prohibits smoking in some public spaces. Park MGM in Las Vegas will ban smoking altogether when the resort reopens Sept. 30. (Image: Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Nevada historian David G. Schwartz told CNN this approach to smoking could signal a change in the industry. The author of 11 books about Las Vegas, Schwartz is associate vice provost for faculty affairs at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

It shows how the casino gaming industry’s position on smoking is evolving,” he said.

At the Cosmopolitan, smoking is banned in all public walkways and resort corridors. Masks are required at all times on the property but may be removed to smoke only in designated areas. These areas include table games with plexiglass dividers and at slot machines. Smoking also is permitted in the sportsbook and lounges, according to the resort’s website

After being on COVID-19 lockdown since March, Park MGM and NoMad will be smoke-free when they are back in operation at the end of this month. NoMad is a luxury hotel on Park MGM’s upper floors.

Anton Nikodemus, president of MGM Resorts’ Las Vegas portfolio, said the decision to ban smoking at Park MGM is the result of “recurring guest demand for a fully nonsmoking casino resort on the Strip.”

Most Gamblers Want Smoke-Free

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, known as the CDC, 75 percent of “regular casino-goers” want smoke-free casinos.

An estimated 41,000 adults in the US die annually from lung cancer and heart disease from exposure to secondhand smoke, according to the CDC.

“Casino, bar and restaurant workers are more exposed to toxic secondhand smoke in their job site compared to other segments of the US workforce,” the CDC website states.

Casino workers have expressed concern about patrons removing their masks to smoke, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Some of the concern is that smoking can lead to coughing, which could spread the coronavirus.

Across the country, some in the casino industry say a ban on smoking leads to a reduction in gaming revenue, which could result in job losses.

Wade Duty, executive director of the Louisiana Casino Association, told that a ban on smoking in New Orleans and Baton Rouge casinos led to a 15-17 percent decline in gaming revenue. He said “reduced customer demand” has an impact on staffing levels.

Casinos Reopen

After coronavirus infections began to spike in mid-March, Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) ordered most businesses, including casinos, to close. However, when the governor permitted casinos to reopen across the state on June 4, many resorts began operating again.

Two Caesars Entertainment properties on the Las Vegas Strip, the Cromwell and Planet Hollywood, are among the last in the state that has not set a restart date.

There has been no indication that other Las Vegas resorts will implement a smoke-free policy like Park MGM’s.