The Player and The Smoker


Roll back the hands of time and smoking was considered sexy and cool. The glamour of Hollywood glorified cigarettes highlighting many of the legendary stars as smokers. Films dating back to the 1930's and 1940 have had the likes of James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, Betty Davis and Joan Crawford as seductive and sultry ciggy puffers. The beauty of smoking was enhanced with jewel encrusted cigarette case, lighters and holders.

The allure continued through the 90's with hit series like Sexy and the City when Jessica Parker's character Carrie was prone to puff in many segments. Reaching the 21st century smoking on silver screen became taboo and the fascination turned to unhealthy unattractive addicted habit.

Gamblers and smoking have had a long reputation as going hand in hand. Maybe it is the myth surrounding all gamblers as 'addicts' which is in essence a whole other story for labeling. When smoking bans went into law for bingo halls and casinos the big wigs were up in arms claiming that 70% of players were smokers. The concern was whether or not it would put a serious dent in customers returning.

Separate smoking rooms far away from the casino floor were installed. Some rooms look like an opium den with little ventilation and no heat in the winter or air conditioning in the summer. But hey whose complaining at least there is the foresight to accommodate the player and if that is not quite suitable for the disgruntled smoker there is always outside.

Interestingly enough the statistics CEO's of Casinos and Bingo hall proprietaries vary drastically from what the studies say. There has been wide spread studies and polls regarding the number of gamblers that do indeed smoke. The results were surprising with only 20% of players as smokers. This is the same average as the general population as a whole.

So what does that say for the bingo player and casino gamblers of the world? We are not all smoking feigns that can't get enough nicotine. And if you are a smoker why should you be labeled as a gambler/smoker? It's clearly a misconception just as all gamblers are addicts in general.

Gamblers are not going to quit gambling simply because smoking has become banned no more than the smoker is going to quit because they lost their freedom in public places. Even if they did, a 20% loss is a drop in the bucket compared to the masses that visit bingo halls and casinos on a daily basis. Not to mention the non-smokers who would now attend smoke-free environments. So what is all the huff and puff about bans……pfff!

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