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
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
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
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
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
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.