As MGM Springfield’s opening day gets closer, the casino has announced more of what you can do inside and what you can’t.
Spokesman Saverio Mancini confirmed to 22News that the MGM Springfield interior will be completely smoke-free, with certain outdoor areas designated for smoking.
As part of the state’s expanded gambling law passed in 2011, casino applicants had to agree to be smoke-free. With competition in Connecticut where smoking is allowed in casinos, some Springfield residents questioned the state’s move.
“People are so used to going to casinos and smoking inside, having a designated smoking area inside,” said Lix Pagan of Springfield. “It’s possible it could draw people to other casinos because of that. Like they could lose business because of that. Like I’m surprised they’re not letting people smoke.”
The smoke-free casino’s website says there are nearly 800 smoke-free gaming establishments across the country.
The organization cites “regional gaming competition, driving distance, weather and socioeconomic conditions” as having major impacts on casino revenue, but not smoking status.
“I mean you can’t tell people what they can and can’t put in their bodies, but you can tell them where they can and can’t do it I guess,” said Jacob Kifa of Agawam. “I don’t think people go to MGM is to go and smoke inside. I think the real reason people go there is to go and be at the casino, so I don’t think it’s going to have a huge effect.”
According to smokefreecasinos.org, the rate of smoking among millennials is very low, and more millennials expect a smoke-free entertainment environment.
The Plainridge Park Casino and the Encore Boston Harbor Resort which is under construction in Boston, are also required to be smoke-free.
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