The Park MGM casino closed due to the coronavirus, and soon it will reopen entirely smoke-free, the first of its kind on the Las Vegas Strip.
Hardly a Gamble
MGM Resorts International announced that Park MGM will be the first non-smoking casino on the Las Vegas Strip. Park was one of the last casinos on the Strip to reopen after coronavirus lockdown. But when it reopens, it will be entirely smoke-free.
MGM President and COO Anton Nikodemus said the smoking ban will apply to the 3,000-room NoMad hotel property as well. “We’re making the facility completely non-smoking because of continued guest requests,” he said.
Sin City may be the go-to place for an all-out, no-holds-barred adventure, and much of the Vegas thrill is the in the unhealthy overindulgence involved. But Nikodemus thinks that going smoke-free in Vegas is hardly a gamble.
“We believe there is a high level of pent-up demand to have a non-smoking casino, especially here in Las Vegas,” he said.
End of an Era
Las Vegas has always been associated with smoking, especially on the casino floors. In addition to the ubiquitous cocktail servers, cigar and cigarette girls weave through the crowds peddling their wares.
In addition, all gaming tables and slots have ashtrays nearby for the smoking crowd. But all that is about to change, and it signals the end of an era for at least one casino. But experts suggest that it’s just a sign of the times, as people are starting to give up smoking, drinking, and other age-old vices.
California was one of the first states to spearhead the smoke-free effort when it passed no-smoking laws for restaurants and other public places. Soon, bars became non-smoking as well. Now Las Vegas is getting on the smoke-free bandwagon, even if it’s only one casino at the moment.
Gaming journalist Howard Stutz said that this is not the first time a Vegas casino tried to go smokeless. Some smaller casinos off the Strip tried to go non-smoking as early as 1991, but they failed.
“For Park MGM and NoMad, the timing now due to Covid-19 health and safety guidelines seems right,” Stutz said. “So many other gaming markets, notably Maryland, are nonsmoking.”
MGM Resorts hopes their move toward non-smoking gambling could spark a trend. Either way, if there winds up being only one non-smoking casino in Las Vegas, people tired of breathing second hand smoke will flock to it.
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