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MGM’s New City Center & Aria Casino Goes Up in Smoke

21 January 2010 by Devon Chappell
cigarette smoking in las vegas casinos

Las Vegas' Dilemma - The Greater Addiction: Smoking or Gambling?

Apparently, smoking and gambling go hand-in-hand. I mean, if you stop to think about it, smoking cigarettes is a gamble in itself, albeit a very bad one. It’s hard to believe, but I honestly think you get a better Casinos Edge winning at Keno than smoking and not dying from some related cause.

But for those who love to puff and bet, I suppose it comes down to “I’m going to die someday anyways – could be tomorrow, could be five years from now – so, I might as well enjoy the time while I still have it”. Well, if that’s you, then there is certainly a place for you at Las Vegas. And not just the old downtown casinos either. I’m talking about the new MGM City Center, which sounds really nice, by the way. Not sure how it smells, or at least how it will smell in a few years, but it sounds great, nonetheless.

Indeed, as progressive as MGM’s new City Center complex is, there’s nothing progressive about the smoking policy – or should I say, lack thereof. At a time when Las Vegas needs all the business it can get, MGM has decided to keep the smokers happy, because let’s face it, they’re probably the one’s doing more gambling in the casino anyways. As for the non-smokers, apparently MGM thinks the greater addiction between the two is gambling, and it will keep those players coming back despite the second-hand smoke.

Another thing MGM is certainly riding on is the fact that Project City Center has become something of a modern marvel. Having just opened last month, everybody – smokers and non-smokers alike – are itching to see what all the hype and build-up has been about. Granted, smoking isn’t permitted everywhere inside the sprawling 18-million square foot complex of boutique shops, condos (permanent and transient residences), restaurants and the massive Aria Casino (home to most of the cigarette smoking).

Furthermore, unlike many of the older casinos on the strip, MGM’s Aria Casino incorporates some pretty sophisticated smoking safeguards, including extra high ceilings, scented air jets and “air curtains” at casino tables to help shield dealers from the onslaught of smoking players who when at the tables are “up close and personal” and in the dealer’s air space.

Just how long it will take before the Aria Casino dawns that sickly smell characteristic of older casinos steeped in cigarette smoke is anybody’s guess (sooner than later, I’m thinking). But perhaps the better question is just how long Las Vegas will continue to allow indoor smoking when the vast majority of other State’s, including tobacco producing North Carolina for God sakes, have indoor smoking bans in place. At this stage in the game, it is truly in the State legislators hands. You really can’t blame the casinos, for until all Vegas casinos are forced to ban indoor smoking, smoking policies will be based on the bottom line – gambling revenue.

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