Beginning in January, slot machine guru Brian Christopher will begin to distance himself from casinos that allow patrons to smoke.
Christopher told Jennycasino.com he will “prioritize” smoke-free casinos, starting Jan. 1, 2022. One year later, on Jan. 1, 2023, Christopher will “exclusively partner” with casinos that ban smoking.
With 13 percent of the US population smoking these days, it no longer makes sense to force 100 percent of patrons and staff to breathe in the harmful chemicals, and that includes myself and my staff,” Christopher told Casino.org.
On his YouTube channel, “Brian Christopher Slots,” the social media influencer posts daily videos with lessons on how to play slot machines at casinos worldwide. Christopher has 433,000 YouTube subscribers and almost 495,000 Facebook followers.
Christopher also partners with casinos in conducting slot demonstrations. Earlier this year, the Plaza Hotel and Casino in downtown Las Vegas opened a slot machine area named for Christopher. The Plaza allows smoking on the casino floor, according to the resort’s website.
Randy Hayden, a Baton Rouge-based consultant for Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights, said social media influencers, such as Christopher, attract a new generation of patrons to casinos. These customers want a “clean, healthy, smoke-free” gaming environment, Hayden said.
“Smart operators will get in front of this reality and use a smoke-free venue as a marketing strategy that not only brings in new money, but protects their employees, customers and vendors,” Hayden said.
Shreveport Smoking Ban Nears 100 Days
Hayden was a key figure in the recent push to ban smoking at riverboat casinos in Shreveport, a city on the Red River in the northwestern corner of boot-shaped Louisiana.
In July, the Shreveport City Council tabled a measure by James Flurry, the council president, to allow smoking in Shreveport’s two riverboat casinos.
Flurry said a ban could drive patrons to gambling halls across the river in Bossier City, where smoking is allowed. Fewer casino customers in Shreveport would lead to job losses at that city’s casinos, he claimed.
Hayden contended “a good marketing campaign” would attract nonsmokers to Shreveport casinos.
The smoking ban took effect on Aug. 1.
On Nov. 9, the Smokefree Louisiana Coalition is hosting a “100-day smoke-free celebration” in Shreveport, Hayden told Jennycasino.com
Few Las Vegas Casinos Ban Smoking
In Las Vegas, smoking has either been banned or restricted in a small number of casinos on the Strip.
Last year, Park MGM became the first “fully smoke-free” hotel-casino on the resort corridor. NoMad Las Vegas, a luxury “hotel-within-a-hotel” at Park MGM, also has banned smoking. Park MGM and NoMad are on the west side of the Strip, near T-Mobile Arena, home of the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights.
Two other properties on the west side of the Strip, Resorts World Las Vegas and the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas, allow smoking on the gaming floor, but prohibit it elsewhere.
Some casino patrons want smoking bans to be decided by businesses, not public officials. A reader identified as Connie Townsend recently commented on a Jennycasino.com story that casino customers like to smoke while gambling.
“Private property rights, owners choice,” she wrote. “Read the Constitution!”