Casinos have been working for months and pouring millions of dollars into renovations in the hopes that smokers will keep coming back. An estimated 30 percent to 50 percent of casino patrons smoke, said Joanne Lah, executive director of the Black Hawk/Central City Convention & Visitors Bureau.
"We are doing everything we can in the strictest sense to be in compliance with the law," Lah said.
Several casinos, such as The Lodge and Ameristar Casino Black Hawk have installed heaters and windbreaks on existing patios and balconies for smokers. Fortune Valley Hotel and Casino in Central City is repurposing existing heated-patio areas. At The Riviera Black Hawk Casino, crews built a new balcony for smokers.
"It was a pretty penny," Tara Aragon, The Riviera's marketing manager, said of the cost.
If you follow the link, read some of the comments, it will cause any liberty lover to just say wow! The commenter’s talk about whether smokers have rights or not. I think that misses the point. A smoker does not have a right to smoke in a privately owned business, however the business owner should have the right to decide if he wants to allow smoking on his property.
I have been to the casinos in Blackhawk over the last few years on a fairly regular basis. I observed that most of the casinos have a voluntarily created non-smoking section and these sections are normally pretty much empty. This would indicate to me that the demand for smoke free areas is not really present and that the people who mainly go to the casinos are not as concerned about secondhand smoke as the government nannies are.
The article explains how some casinos are trying to continue to give their customers a comfortable smoking area, since they know that is what the customers want. It doesn’t say what the casinos that cannot afford to build patio areas or have no space to build patio areas are planning to do. The problem is exacerbated in Central City where the local government has very strict rules about building modifications in an effort to preserve the image of an old west town. I guess these casinos will close down if they cannot compete under the artificial restrictions forced upon them by the government, putting all employees out of work. Of course the proponents of the smoking ban would probably rather see those people unemployed rather than voluntarily working around smokers.
The government is not looking out for the little guy here, obviously the smaller casinos will be the most hurt by these new restrictions. The larger casinos will probably survive, but at what cost? Lets say they only see casino attendance down by 10%. That is 10% fewer wait staff needed at the restaurants, 10% fewer money changers, 10% fewer parking attendants, 10% fewer cocktail servers, 10% fewer janitors, 10% fewer slot techs, etc, and that does not even include the 10% fewer taxes the government will collect from these casinos that up until now they have treated like the states piggy banks (although the state deserves the loss in future revenues).