NOLA Smoking Ban To Help Coast Casinos

Thirty-eight states in the US have some sort of legislated action banning smoking in public places, but not all ban it in casinos. The City of New Orleans is gambling with this ban, and the Mississippi coast is ready to cash in.
“Well I’m sure that’s the hope of local casinos to tap into the discontent there might be in New Orleans. It could drive a few more people here and that would be here and that would be fine with us. We’re glad to welcome all that want to come,” said Gaming Consultant, F. Cliff Kirkland.
The smoking ban could potentially lead to more gamblers coming from an already tapped source for the coast.
We draw from a lot of areas; we certainly draw a lot of Louisiana gamblers to our city. There’s no question that gamblers do prefer a smoking environment,” said Kirkland.
The Mississippi coast is dominated by casinos that allow smoking. With that being said, there is one coast casino that, despite the inevitable financial hit, broke the mold and decided to go smoke free.
“The Palace Casino went smoke free about five years ago. The industry standard to taking that kind of action was about a 20% deduction in revenue,” said Palace Casino General Manager, Keith Crosby.
The Palace initially saw a 30% drop in revenue. Five years later, The Palace has recovered and its earnings are back to normal.
Even though there was a staggering immediate impact, Crosby has no doubt they rolled the dice and went smoke free for the right reasons.
“I had more associates come over and say thank you. And you know it was the blackjack dealer that didn’t smoke that had been standing in front of seven people for eight hours a day that did. And doing it for 2000 hours a year, that adds up,” said Crosby.

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