No smoking in Casinos Austria

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At Casinos Austria everything is going like clockwork. They are well attended and can look forward to decent numbers. However, one looks a bit worried about the future, because the impending smoking ban could result in a big drop in sales. From other countries, it is known that a drop in sales of up to 30% is not uncommon. We took a look at the situation at Casinos Austria.

International experience confirms falling sales

Between 10 and 30% of revenue, losses are not uncommon. The smoking ban reduces the feeling of coziness, the stays in the casino are shorter. Some people even associate the feeling of smoking with gambling. For example, you can see Las Vegas, where smoking is allowed in most establishments without restrictions. The casinos are therefore an exception in the USA because otherwise, the smoking laws are very strict there.

Still decent earnings

Although the loss of revenue is feared, the operators of Casinos Austria remain positive. This is probably because the casino's earnings are otherwise impeccable. In the first half of this year alone, around 2.1 billion euros were raised. So what's a small drop in sales? The operators see their casinos as rare pearls that are rightly visited by many gaming fans.

The operators also point out that it is probably more of a time to get used to. This could be the right thing to do because many people used to complain about the ban on smoking in many pubs, but people have got used to it long ago.

More and more people are even happy about the smoke-free air, although this would have been unthinkable in bars and pubs in the past. Perhaps the situation is actually similar with the casinos: We first have to get used to not being able to combine the thrill with a cigarette or cigar. After a while, maybe nobody will talk about it and just go outside to smoke.

All in all, Casinos Austria don't seem to be too worried about their earnings. Smoking is undoubtedly part of the casino experience and is also highly valued in connection with alcohol, but in the end, it is more a question of getting used to it.

There will also be players here who appreciate the smoking ban and who support the new law accordingly. It remains to be seen how the smoking ban will then be adopted in the long term in reality. Currently, the operators of Casinos Austria seem to be doing everything right, which is why revenue losses should be able to cope with.

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A non-smoking protection law has been in force in Austria since November 1, 2019, which also prohibits smoking in casinos. The gambling operators Casinos Austria and Admiral should not comply with the ban. This is reported by the Association of Aid to Players in a press release published yesterday. The player protectors are asking the authorities to take action now.

Ten violations reported

In its current announcement, Gambling Aid accuses the casino operators Casinos Austria and Admiral of ignoring the new non-smoking protection law (TNRSG) that has been in force since the end of last year.

This had become clear when the club visited and checked casinos and casinos. According to their own statements, the player's aid has already filed ten notices in this regard. Eight of the violations were found in admiral's premises. Companies of Casinos Austria AG were noticed twice negatively.

Non-smoking protection equals player protection

The fact that there is still smoking in casinos and halls is extremely alarming for the players' help, which they claim is made up of former problem gamblers.

Functioning non-smoking protection, according to the club, is an important part of active player protection:

There is probably a simple reason that gambling operators are not implementing the new no-smoking protection law: players who should smoke outside would interrupt their game. However, this is undesirable on the part of the operator.

30% loss in sales?

In fact, Casinos Austria boss Bettina Glatz-Kremsner had expressed concern to media representatives ahead of the TNRSG coming into force.

International experience had shown that the company would have to expect a decline in sales of 10 to 30 percent due to the smoking ban.

Player Aid is now hoping for the intervention of the responsible authorities: controls would have to be stepped up and consequences should be drawn in the event of violations.

Smoking has been strictly prohibited in the catering trade for two weeks. There are few complaints, even though, according to gastronomy spokesmen, sales in many businesses have decreased slightly. However, Casinos Austria cause excitement.

Smoking is still allowed between gaming computers and blackjack in the casino – this is ensured by a glass case equipped with ventilation. Klaus Friedl, the spokesman for the restaurateurs of the Styrian Chamber of Commerce, is annoyed that the casinos are allowed to take a different path here: “Basically, it's a bit questionable. So far, I don't know why a restaurant with a play area is allowed to. ”

The casino does not count as a restaurant business

A casino does not count as a pure catering business, says Patrick Minar, spokesman for Casinos Austria: “We are casinos and not inns, so you can only compare the same with the same, so I don't know why that should cause bad blood for anyone. “

Resentment among Styrian restaurateurs

But it does – because even if the smoking box in the casino is in an area that is not dedicated to gastronomy, the casino also does eat and drink. Landlords such as Angelo Urban from San Pietro in Graz are therefore outraged: “I just don't think that's correct, I looked at it myself and I'm actually very disappointed that something like this can happen in Austria.”

The ban on smoking is leading to a drop in sales, particularly in discos and shisha bars, says Peter Dobcak, spokesman for the Viennese restaurateurs. Minar explains why a company as big as Casinos Austria cannot simply do without this smoking box by saying that the casinos are also under financial pressure and could not accept a possible loss of up to 30 percent.