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Casinos in the United States have been spoiled for a long time. They have not had to think much in building their business. Place a casino in a town, and watch the customers pile in, that was their motto.
Now, however, casino owners have had to get creative in their marketing techniques. The economy has gotten to a point where people actually need reasons to go to casinos. They no longer have the money to go at their leisure.
PhiladelphiaPark Casino in Bensalem has done a poor job of marketing their casino. Due to that fact, they are turning to the one thing they feel can boost their sagging revenue. Smoking.
In an effort to put revenue dollars over the health of their employees, the casino announced yesterday that they are expanding their smoking availability to one half of the casino floor. That is the maximum allowed by the states Clean Indoor Air Act.
The Act, however, seems to only mean clean air when the proper amount of money is being made. Lawmakers, fearing the drop in casino revenue would hurt the states economy, placed loopholes in the new law so that eventually casinos could have what they want, smoking on their casino floors.
The loophole involves proportions of gaming revenue between smoking and non-smoking areas. The casinos can increase their smoking area up to fifty percent if the proportions work out between the smoking and non smoking areas.
With the casinos in full control of their revenue figures, it is easy to show the proportions however they want the state to see them, so if they believe they will do better with smoking areas, they can alter the revenue figures as necessary. This is not to say that PhiladelphiaPark did this, but it is possible.
In Florida, when they put their non-smoking laws into effect, there is a percentage of food to liquor sales that would allow for smoking in a given establishment. What many bar owners did was alter their numbers to make sure they stayed in the necessary range to allow smoking.
“These smoking laws in many states are a joke. They adjust the laws to make sure that their casinos continue to operate, sometimes with business as usual. They go out of their way to make sure the smoking laws only effect the casinos minimally,” said Henry Shuman.
PhiladelphiaPark Casino President Dave Jonas summed up the advantages given to casinos when it comes to smoking laws, “This has to do with the great legislation in Pennsylvania. We are a big tax base in Pennsylvania, and there is a big demand for gambling and for smokers who want to gamble,” he said.
Indeed, that demand far outweighs the employees of the casino demanding to work in a smoke free environment. Lawmakers wanted to ensure with the Clean Indoor Air Act that people did not have to be subjected to unhealthy smoke, and for the most part it has worked, except in cases where the law interferes with state revenue.