Isleta Casino says it sees benefits after implementing no-smoking policy

September 7, 2023

According to the property, 95% of staff reported they appreciate a non-smoking workplace.

Following the bounceback from the Covid-19 pandemic, the Isleta Resort and Casino in Albuquerque, New Mexico, implemented a requirement whereby customers were no longer allowed to smoke indoors, according to a local news report.

Officials from the casino told an interim legislative committee that they have decided to keep the ban indefinitely.

CFO of Isleta Casino, Diana Howard said, there were some complaints among smokers about the new policy at first, “but now it is the new norm. It’s kind of become accepted in our environment,” she told the panel.

The casino also previously received bad reviews due to the smell left over from cigarette smoke, and those reviews have now ceased since the ban was implemented.

Howard continued, “We have happier guests. We are not getting any complaints anymore about how they smell when they leave and how their hotel room smells. For us, it’s just easier to keep clean and it’s great.”

A fiscal analysis cited concern over customers choosing a venue they can smoke in, over one they cannot, potentially harming casino revenue. However, Isleta Casino’s Chief HR Officer Charles Walters, said his team saw the opposite.

“We saw our revenue going up, we saw our player count going up. We did not see the complaints that were going out there historically.”

The non-smoking policy has also made the casino staff happier too. Walters reported that a survey from its employees revealed 95% of them appreciated the non-smoking workplace.

Casino officials said, “It is the health benefits of the ban for staff and customers, including tribal elders, that remain the primary driver behind keeping it in place.”


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