When it comes to electronic cigarette use in Ohio's Casinos though there is no longer a clear dividing line after three of the state's six Casinos elected to ban the devices last month.
As of late April gamblers at the Hollywood Casino Columbus, Scioto Downs Casino & Racetrack, and the Hollywood Casino in Toledo were no longer permitted to vape on the premises, despite having been able to do so just weeks before. Electronic cigarettes, which are free from tar and tobacco, are legally allowed to be smoked anywhere, but the Casinos have elected to enforce their own policies to prevent their usage on the gambling floor.
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And so Casinos have been setting their own electronic cigarette policies, much like dress codes, with the Hollywood chain and the Scioto Downs Racetrack electing to keep them outside. Gary O'Brien, spokesman for Columbus Arena Sports and Entertainment said “Our general policy is we don't allow anything that emits a vapour,” as a queue of kettles turned away from the casino door dejected.
The confusion for gamblers though remains as the other three Casinos in the state continue to permit the use of electronic cigarettes. Jennifer Kulczycki, a spokesperson for Rock Ohio Casinos, the operating company behind the three still allowing gamblers to vape, told local news agency, The Columbus Despatch, “Customer feedback is the reason we allow them”.
So if customers wish to use them, and they're not against the law, why have the other Casino chains chosen to take the stand to ban the devices. Surely giving their clientele a choice would be beneficial to them, after all, why limit your potential customer base, particularly when everyone knows the house always wins.
Also speaking to The Despatch was Ashley Redmon, a spokesperson for Scioto Downs Casino & Racetrack who explained; “We want to eliminate any type of nuisance, and we don't want the other patrons confusing them with real cigarettes.” Surely the fact that regular cigarettes are banned, where as electronic cigarettes are not would be enough of a determinable factor? It would seem not, and despite increasing resources and authorities extolling the minimal danger of the electronic cigarette organisations continue to tread over cautiously in relation to their usage.