Amid the pandemic, indoor smoking was prohibited in casinos across the United States. This temporary measure became the new reality for some brick-and-mortar casinos, but others, such as Agua Caliente Casino Palm Springs, have resumed smoking, lifting the three-year ban.
As announced by the Palm Springs Desert Sun, the casino is only one out of three Agua Caliente venues that has taken the decision to resume indoor smoking. Reportedly, the smoking ban was lifted after Agua Caliente Casino Palm Springs received “a substantial number of requests.”
While Agua Caliente Casino Palm Springs returned smoking on the casino floor, two of the tribe’s other venues, Rancho Mirage and Cathedral City, continue to enforce the smoking ban. The lifting of the smoking ban allows vaping and smoking while smoking cigars and using pipes remains prohibited.
Visitors to Agua Caliente Casino Palm Springs can engage in vaping and smoking while on the casino floor. However, the casino doesn’t allow those activities at the sports bar and Cascade Lounge. Additionally, smoking is not allowed within dining areas or at table games.
Undoubtedly, smokers who visit the casino will enjoy seeing the lifted smoking ban. Yet, not everyone agrees with the lifting of the prohibition on smoking on the casino floor. Tim Sigle, a visitor of Agua Caliente went on social media to share his concern about the resumption of smoking at the casino. “They are allowing smoking once again in the casino after four years of stopping it. Shame on them for bringing it back and risking people’s health,” posted Sigle on Facebook.
Smoking Causes Harm to Employees, Visitors
Sigle encouraged people to submit complaints about the return of smoking at Agua Caliente Casino Palm Springs. He warned that the resumption of smoking impacts the health of employees who are forced to breathe contaminated air. Moreover, Sigle said that secondhand smoke can cause harm to visitors who are also forced to breathe smoke. “If they want to cater to smokers, they can build a separate room with just smokers can go. The 360 sports bar and lounge have no walls around it and people will be smoking on three sides,” added Sigle.
More than two decades ago, in 1998, California implemented a smoking ban, effectively prohibiting activity in indoor spaces, including casinos. However, the sovereign status of the Tribe meant that the ban did not apply to its casinos.
Similarly, in New Jersey, there is also a smoking ban in effect, but casinos are exempt. While lawmakers in the state are trying to close that loophole, operators across the United States continue to fear smoke bans, claiming impacts on their revenues.