Written By: Dan Pearson
August 16, 2014

Horseshoe Casino Plans to Put Up Slots in Smoking Areas

Horseshoe Casino plans to put up slots in smoking areas.

Horseshoe Casino plans to put up slots in smoking areas.

There are a lot of changes happening in casinos in the United States lately. Over the last few days, we featured the upcoming emergency summit in New Jersey in order to rescue the rapidly failing casino industry especially in Atlantic City. We also talked about the continuous U.S. crackdown against criminals using gambling for money laundering.

In Ohio, meanwhile, there’s a different kind of activity. Although it’s not one of the biggest in terms of land-based casino revenues, it is pretty stable. However, casino operators and owners wish to go more aggressive with their business by taking it outside—literally.

Ohio is one of the states that don’t allow smoking practically everywhere. The law has designated certain places only where you can smoke. It’s also very clear that when you’re in hotels and casinos, for example, you can only light a stick when you’re in a spacious patio or outdoor garden that’s well ventilated and far from the gaming floor. So if you’re playing slots or table games and you wish to get some cigarettes, you have to pause or leave to smoke outside. We don’t have statistics to back up our assumption, but we believe not everyone will have the energy to go back outside and play some more. This ending can translate lesser revenues for casino operators and owners.

Considering the growing tight competition among states as far as gambling is concerned, the potential loss of income and cash flow, and the need to improve their customer demand and business value, the Horseshoe Casino decided to be more proactive and take the matter to the state, demanding that they be allowed to set up casinos (specifically slots) outside. This proposal is currently pending approval, but since smoking is allowed in racinos and the riverboats, there’s a good chance that they will approve it. If it does go through, the casino can generate as much as $10 million in added revenues every year.

What can be its effects?

Any law will have some serious effects in different aspects of a state, and the pending approval of this will be no different. It may be quite early to speculate, but we’ll do it anyway. We can already foresee many health experts and activists going against it for one simple reason: Ohio people are not in the best of health.

According to 2014 America’s Health Rankings, Ohio places 40th overall. It points out the strengths of the state such as a low percentage of people uninsured, strong presence of physicians, and high rate of graduated high school students. Its campaign against non-smoking is improving every year; today the decrease in prevalence is already 8 percent. That doesn’t change the fact that over 1.5 million people in the Buck-eyed State are smokers. This only worsens their problem with air pollution and diabetes.

The law can also affect the riverboat casinos where smoking is allowed. Casinos such as Horseshoe are already huge with hundreds of visitors on a daily basis. The approval will definitely give them more advantage in the market.

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