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Rant: Smoking and Poker is a Filthy Disaster
Revel Casino in Atlantic City cost $2 billion to build and it lost $111 million in its first year of operation.
In March the resort declared bankruptcy as Atlantic City experienced a 40% decline in revenue since it peaked back in 2006.
In a bid to breathe fresh life into AC’s great big hope, the management of Revel decided to do a complete U-turn on its decision to make the 47-stories smoke free, and once again allow people to smoke when they play.
It would be interesting to see Revel’s marketing data on this one because I for one cannot see how the introduction of smoking is going to attract more customers.
It’s nothing more than a disgusting habit that even most smokers were glad to see the back of when casinos started to create smokeless playing areas several years ago.
A Filthy Environment to Play Poker In
Just a few weeks ago the World Poker Tour (WPT) kicked off its twelfth season with the Merit Cyprus Classic. An event that was held at the Merit Crystal Cove, which is a casino that allows players to smoke.
To create a smoke-free area for players involved in the Main Event, anybody who wanted to smoke had to move away from the table and light up by the rail.
Smoking isn’t the same as drinking a pint. When you smoke you blow poisonous fumes into the air and it drifts anywhere the air will take it.
Allowing players to smoke on the rail but not at the table is an absolute joke. It creates a filthy environment to play poker in, not to mention the health hazards of secondary smoke inhalation.
To make the rules even more bizarre, you can smoke at a cash-game table but not a tournament table. I mean this just gets more absurd by the minute.
What happened to the rights of the employees? Why should a dealer shave god knows how much time off his life because he has to breathe in someone else’s secondary smoke?
What about the massage girls who are forced to inhale it whilst working on their clients, or the waitresses asking for drinks orders?
Revel Have Got This One Very Wrong
The number of smokers has been declining for over 50 years. In the UK, back in the 1950s 80% of men were smokers. This was down to 39% by 1980 and 21% and falling by 2010.
If the number of smokers is declining, then surely the optimum decision for the likes of Revel is to have a non-smoking environment. I can’t fathom how they can think otherwise.
Surely, there are more people who would refuse to play poker in a smoke-filled environment than those who stay away because they cannot smoke?
Are Revel trying to tell me that gamblers are staying away from their property because they can’t have a cigarette at the table? Nonsense.
It’s not just the dealers, floor staff, waitresses, masseuses and non-smoking players whose lives are going to benefit from a non-smoking environment; smokers would benefit as well.
During the WPT Merit Cyprus Classic, players were more concerned with smoking than playing. Daniel Negreanu worries about the first card off the deck rule, but I can tell you that nobody in Cyprus gave a monkeys because they were never at the tables anyway.
They were all too busy standing at the rail having a quick drag while the dealer dealt a hand to an empty seat.
Revel, you have got this one very wrong. But then again, when have you ever gotten anything right?