I was shocked today to discover that the Crown Casino in Melbourne still allows smoking its Mahogany Room vip area. Wow, that’s really behind the times. Being an internationally rated casino vip player myself (and having been to many casino vip rooms around the world), I’m well aware of the traditional clientele. On the whole, a typical casino vip room contains: high-spending Asian baccarat players, loud and out there roulette players, quiet and serious (traditionally white middle-class style) blackjack players, and the various wives and girlfriends and mistresses of said players, who sit drinking wine and champagne and spin the slots. And I’m well aware that for some of these demographics, smoking is considered socially acceptable.
But personally, I hate it. The casino I mainly play in these days used to be a complete cess-pit of smoke and tar, and I used to hate going home with clothes smelling like I’d been in a fire… then the Government passed no smoking legislation, and for the first time in years I was able to breathe normally and actually enjoy playing the casino games. It was great. I’m not judging people who smoke, or restricting their opportunity to do so – but personally, I won’t be playing in any casino vip rooms that allow smoking, out of principle.
My concern is not so much for other vip casino players – after all, we can all just walk out if the smoke gets too much. But the dealers can’t. They are forced to stay in these smoke filled environments at close to minimum wage. The costs to their health are huge – smoke inhalation toxicity is cumulative over time – and I’ve heard of several previous casino employees (in a number of casinos) that have had serious health issues due to their exposure to the smoke. Personally, I think that’s unfair. These huge casinos make massive profts, but do nothing to protect their staff from clear harm. Or is that just my opinion?
As much as I like the Crown Casino in Melbourne Australia, don’t expect me to be frequenting the Mahogany Room anytime soon. If other vip rooms are smoke free, count me in. But I won’t be gambling in a cess-pit. Been there, done that – and I have no intention of doing it again.