If you don’t smoke and don’t like secondary smoking you’ll probably try to gamble in smoke-free casinos. Are there any in Las Vegas?
Let’s dispel a myth immediately: casinos do NOT need to allow smoking to be successful. In Vancouver (Canada, where we have spent significant amounts of time in the last few years) there are plenty of successful casinos, filled with people (many of them hard-core regular gamblers), and they are all non-smoking. They have small smoking areas but the gambling floors are all non-smoking. They are successful, they are fun and they make tons of money.
The problem is that in Vegas casinos management are afraid of change, perhaps because not backed by state law. So casinos in Vegas (and other parts of the US) have become a place where smokers go guilt-free and non-smokers ‘put up’.
The second myth to dispel is that the air-vents, air-filters and air-changes in those casinos actually render the air smoke-free. Not true at all; whilst the air is better than if there were no air-vents, you can clearly still breathe smoke: every time we gamble in Vegas we develop sore throats or voice-box inflammation.
Having said that, some resorts are better than others, and some are just awful (air-wise): Most Caesar’s Entertainment Vegas casinos (and hotels) are very bad with regards to smoke; moreover, Excalibur is bad, Gold-Coast is also quite bad, but all in all most low-ceiling casinos in general are bad (including the super fun casino at Mirage); most older Fremont Street (downtown Vegas) casinos are bad (some of they don’t even have air-conditioning and leave the front doors open instead! Awful!) whilst higher-end, newer casinos are more tolerable (in general, but not always). In some well-built, modern resorts you can’t breathe much smoke, although if a smoker sits by the slot machine next to you, you’ll just choke no matter what. Out of the modern casinos, a surprise was beautiful Aria lately, since it seems that they have turned off its ventilation system: last time we were there, very recently, we found it extremely smoked-filled, with smoke lingering rather than being ‘sucked’ upwards (as it used to happen). Quite a shock for a high-end place like Aria. Is it possible that casinos are cutting corners and turning off their ventilation system?
As per smoking in non-smoking corridors and rooms, the rule of thumb is that the most ‘budget’ resorts are usually worse in general and worse at ‘dealing with’ the problem, with the exception of Circus Circus in our experience, which was quite excellent (perhaps because there are so many families there). Higher-end Vegas resorts usually don’t even have guests who smoke in non-smoking areas.
Smoke-Free Casinos in Vegas:
On the famous Strip, the stunning Venetian & Palazzo have a section of smoke-free gambling. Ask for it when you get there; their casino is one of the best in Vegas anyway, so it’s worth going there.
If you ever go to Biloxi on the Gulf, by the way, there is a brand new, classy hotel and casino, totally non-smoking, totally stunning, called Palace Casino Resort.