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Smoking section with gaming slots requested by Horseshoe Cincinnati
CINCINNATI (Jeff Hirsh) -- With six casinos or racinos in the region each has to fight harder for a piece of the gaming pie.
So the Horseshoe Casino downtown wanted to add a smoking section with gambling slots. It would be pretty simple but smoking is not allowed inside Ohio casinos, as in other public buildings.
But it is allowed on the gambling floor in nearby Indiana.
The action at the Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati may be smoking but the customers were not smoking because right now, the only place Horseshoe gamblers can smoke is in one of three roof covered but open air patios next to the building. Customers can smoke out in the sunshine or the cold. There's no indoor smoking in the gambling section, no smoking is the law.
Kim Tucker, a Horseshoe customer, said, "Well you gotta' come outside, leave your post. So I think it would be great for customers to have something like that here."
Now Horseshoe has asked the Ohio Casino Control Commission to allow an indoor smoking section with slot games and a bar. The facility was already under construction. And if the Cincinnati casino was already luring customers who used to go to Indiana casinos the smoking and gambling section should draw more.
Right now, smoking is allowed on the gambling floor in Indiana at places such as the Hollywood Casino in Lawrenceburg. Horseshoe Cincinnati wants more of that action:
When asked how much that was a factor because of how close some of those places were in Indiana, Horseshoe Marketing VP, Dan Brockdorf, said, "It gets back to the customer demand. Customers are able to smoke at our competitors while they enjoy the environment. So this comes out of the demands of the customers. It's something they've asked for because they can do it elsewhere so it keeps us competitive."
So if Horseshoe gets state approval, the gamblers may soon be smoking along with the slots. It was unclear how many slot machines would go in the smoking portion. Some may be new slots, others may be moved from existing locations. There would still be no smoking on the main gaming floor.
The casino commission takes up the Horseshoe request next month. Assuming it's approved, the smoking and gambling section would open soon after that.
Columbus and Toledo's casinos asked for similar approvals.
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