Are Smoke-Free Casinos Here To Stay

The following post, Are Smoke-Free Casinos Here To Stay, considers the future of smoking in casinos. It is not about the personal pros and cons of smoking. But, recently, the reopening of casinos have turned many casinos into smokeless casinos. This is as controversial as saying casinos won’t serve free alcohol.

Are Smoke-Free Casinos the “New Norm?”

At this time, all New England casinos are smoke-free. All five Massachusetts and Maine gambling halls are smoke-free. With Foxwoods & Mohegan Sun’s opening on June 1st and both Rhode Island casinos opening smoke free, New England betting halls are 100% smoke free. This may change in the future.

Related Post – Rhode Island Casinos are Reopening

Why Are Smoke Free Casinos So Controversial?

Oxford Casino, Oxford, ME, smoke free casino.

The history of gaming includes smoking a cigarette or cigar, accompanied by an alcoholic drink. When non-smoking areas grew on casino floors, the nonsmoking areas underperformed rather dramatically. But over the years, we have understood the harm of second-hand smoke. Restrictions popped up for the casino staff’s health and safety, such as not smoking at the tables, at the cashier, and the rewards desk. Clean Indoor Air Acts took care of restaurants, workplaces, and some public places.

But the chance to socialize at the local gambling hall with a group of friends, cigar in one hand and drink in the other, is now under attack – and understandably so. There are at least 783 state-regulated gambling facilities that are required to be 100% smoke-free indoors. For a complete list of U.S. Smokefree Casinos and Gambling Facilities, click here.  In New England, Massachusetts and Maine are two of them.

COVID-19 and Smoke-free Casinos

The facts of how the coronavirus spreads make the change to smoke-free casinos more apparent. The following is taken from Fact vs. Fiction: COVID-19 by Craig Martin, a professor and associate dean at the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy. It parallels CDC reports:

  1. The coronavirus can spread through the air and on surfaces.
  2. The novel coronavirus COVID-19 lives on surfaces for 48-72 hours, possibly longer.

Second-hand smoke doesn’t necessarily add to the breathing of COVID-19 droplets in someone’s exhaling. However, without the enhanced ventilation needed for cleaning and moving air in the casino, the chance of droplets held up by smoke is higher than the usual exhale. Long-term secondhand smoke exposure can also damage the lungs and make you more susceptible to respiratory coronavirus complications. This all plays into additional PPE for both players and staff. Without smoking, data may batter be collected on how all the other PPE put in place – plexiglass, masks, etc., –

Sneeze guards at the tables.


Maybe it’s not the connection of COVID-19, smoking, and gambling that’s the concern. According to a new study by scientists from Stanford and Tufts universities published in the journal Environmental Research, each year, 50 million nonsmoking casino patrons and 400,000 nonsmoking casino workers gamble with their lives inside casinos that allow smoking. Less than 2 hours of exposure to secondhand smoke in half of the casinos surveyed is enough to impair the heart’s ability to pump blood, placing susceptible casino patrons and workers at acute risk of heart disease.

Will, there be a compromise down the road, or will more casinos follow the smoke-free path as Massachusetts did. We might see results as early as September 2020. Unfortunately, we may have to wait until probably 2021 for answers.


About Binbin and

Robin T. Aubin (AKA Binbin at NETimeGambling) has been a guest on Cousin Vito’s Casino Podcast, The Bettor Life Podcast, The Art in the Game Podcast featuring all that is Springfield, Massachusetts. as well as ZorkCast with Michael Trager. As the founder of, he has tried to provide a resource for recreational gamblers featuring New England’s expanding casino market events, gambling promotions, and entertainment. As a professional musician for over 50 years, he has performed in some of New England’s best venues, namely Mohegan Sun’s Wolf Den, Foxwoods’ Atrium Lounge, and Twin River’s Lighthouse Bar & Lounge.

The goal of NETimeGambling is to provide a service and resource for any recreational gambler visiting New England’s expanding casino market and interested in gambling tips, news, advice, and the latest in events, gambling promotions, and entertainment.

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