The NSW government is getting serious on smoking laws. Politicians have recently enacted a law that bans smoking in outdoor spaces like doorways and bus stops; however, one public space remains immune – VIP gaming rooms in local casinos. Health Minister Jillian Skinner respects the government’s decision but believes that the future will see smoking banned in all casinos.
Banning smoking seems to be a slow process. It was only during the 1990s that smoking was banned inside restaurants and bars. Twenty years later, we are still working on banning smoking from various locations. So, while smoking is currently allowed in VIP gaming rooms, that may not be the case for very long.
“Who knows what will happen eventually?,” says Skinner “We’ve got to be consistent across the country in terms of bans on things like high-rollers’ rooms”.
The effects of a potential smoking ban would be negative for NSW casinos, however. With high roller players preferring to smoke while they gamble, they will likely take their gaming to another location like the Crown Casino in Victoria. The ban may also jeopardize James Packer’s plans to build an exclusive high-roller casino in Bangaroo.