Mirage Extinguishes Smoke-Free Slot Room

Under new management, Mirage has unceremoniously stamped out its smoke-free slot room.

Hard Rock International took over operations of Mirage from MGM Resorts in Dec. 2022.

Before it was a smokeless slot space, the room in question was the Mirage’s poker room. The high limit slots apparently generated even less revenue than the poker room, which is quite a feat for something that’s not a sportsbook. Yeah, we said it.

The demise of this non-smoking lounge was more about the underwhelming slot selection than the smoke-free thing.

During our visit, the last remaining slot machine was being decommissioned in the former smoke-free area, not far from Mirage’s cashier cage.

Machines being replaced by tables isn’t as common in Las Vegas as the opposite. It’s a margins thing.

The room will now feature table games popular with Asian gamblers, like baccarat and Pai Gow, according to a Mirage employee.

Here’s a look at the signage prior to the change of direction.

Mirage non-smoking slots
This is from Nov. 2020. Not the shortest run in Vegas history, but not stellar.

Thanks to @ChampChaz02 for alerting us to Mirage’s pivot on the Twitters.

It’s hard to say what the passing of the smoke-free slot area means, if anything. There’s an ongoing debate about why casinos are the last bastion of smoking, when second-hand smoke is clearly a danger to casino guests and employees.

Old-school casino executives believe gamblers love their smokes, so little has been done to curtail smoking other than Park MGM going entirely smoke-free and the vast majority of Las Vegas hotel rooms being non-smoking.

Smoking advocates (which is a really weird thing to be) will no-doubt use the end of the non-smoking slot room at Mirage as an example of how, when given a choice, gamblers prefer coughing up black phlegm to playing on machines where smoking is prohibited.

The entire history of the smoking-in-casinos debate is littered with urban legends and bad or misleading data.

Plaza will soon open a non-smoking expansion to its casino. We trust it, too, will be used as an example of something when the decision is made to dump the no smoking rule down the road. No matter how it goes, it’s not really indicative of anything, though. Correlation does not imply causation, and all that. Don’t get us started.

Anyway, there are other changes happening at Mirage, beyond the long-awaited moving of the resort’s Secret Garden animals to happier places.

A big section of Mirage’s casino floor is being given a once-over. Some of our favorite Top Dollar machines in town reside in this area, so we hope they’ll be back.

Like many things in life, the construction area is longer than it is wide. Casino bar for scale.

A Mirage employee said the space will be a mix of table games and machines. No reopening date was available.

Of course, we looked behind the curtain. Do you know this blog at all?

There’s a lot to do, but Las Vegas casinos are really good at this. The over-under for completion is two weeks.

There are a lot more changes to come at Mirage, including a new hotel tower shaped like a big-ass guitar.

Also, we don’t recall this carpeting, so we’re going to say it’s new. There are people who are very interested in casino carpeting.

Casino carpeting is designed to conceal stains, sometimes by looking like it’s already stained.

While we’re fairly sure this isn’t new, per se, it’s worth mentioning the Mirage sportsbook is smoke-free. All forms of smoking are prohibited in this area.

You go, Mirage sportsbook, a place we won’t go, because sports, but at least it’s not because the place is filled with cigar smoke, which has a fragrance not unlike human anuses. Rather, what we imagine anuses smell like. If, indeed, that is the plural of “anus.”

It all seems a little arbitrary, but it’s progress.

Hard Rock International is leasing the Mirage name until a major overhaul is complete, then it will become Hard Rock Las Vegas in 2025.

A Vegas classic. Coming up: More bling, less volcano, on the Las Vegas Strip.

We’re hoping by 2025, there will be a class action lawsuit, possibly spearheaded by the Culinary Union, to make all Las Vegas casinos smoke-free. The discussion is happening in New Jersey, where allowing smoking in casinos has been described as “prehistoric” and “immoral.”

Our friend and slot influencer, Brian Christopher, recently testified on behalf of lungs.

Airplanes and restaurants have managed to survive without smoking, and so, too, will casinos.

We get that the elimination of Mirage’s smoke-free room was a micro business decision, but macro, it’s a move in the wrong direction.


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