Terre Haute’s New Hard Rock Casino Will Be Smoke-Free

Posted on September 15, 2020 - Last Updated on February 12, 2021

Terre Haute’s new casino will be smoke-free when it opens next year.

The city’s new Hard Rock-branded spot is planning to be open for business by Sept. 2021.

The “Rocksino” is one of two currently under construction around the state. Its twin is being built in Gary, Indiana.

Terre Haute casino’s smoke-friendly patio

Although you won’t be able to smoke inside the new casino, smokers won’t be completely left out to dry.

Hard Rock is including a large covered patio to act as the smoke-friendly area.

The patio will feature 117 slot machines and eight table games, which accounts for about 15% of the building’s gaming positions.

It also includes a positive pressure system, so that air from the smoking patio won’t flow into the main casino when doors are opened.

That’s in addition to the large ceiling fans and exhaust systems that will keep fresh air constantly flowing throughout the casino as a whole.

According to Hard Rock COO Jon Lucas, having something for everyone is a big priority for the company.

“It is extremely important to Hard Rock International that each and every guest that enters the Rocksino feels welcome. Our brand represents the best in the gaming industry, and we do that through safety, customer service and being receptive to the needs of our guests. We look forward to the future in Terre Haute.”

Vigo County has strict non-smoking and public health laws, so the smoke-free move puts Hard Rock in line with those expectations.

The Indiana Gaming Commission approved the casino’s license back in May. Since then, it’s been full steam ahead.

Spectacle Jack, the casino’s operator, plans to break ground on the property sometime this fall.

Smoke-free casino trend

The coronavirus pandemic has been a big factor in some of the anti-smoking changes.

Some casinos that typically allow smoking indoors have put their foot down because of the health crisis. French Lick Casino is one of the Indiana spots changing things up with new safety protocols.

Until further notice, their gaming floors will be smoke-free.

Smoke-free casinos may not currently be the norm in Indiana, but the trend is picking up nationwide.

Permanent changes are hitting the Las Vegas Strip.

Most of the strip’s casinos are already back in the swing of things after their forced closures earlier this year. Park MGM is one of the few left that still hasn’t reopened for business.

The casino will be opening its doors on Sept. 30, and when it does, the building will be smoke-free.

Park MGM will be the first resort on the Las Vegas Strip to ban smoking.

Anton Nikodemus, the president and COO of the property, says that the switch to smoke-free is what its guests are looking for.

“We’re making the facility completely nonsmoking because of continued guest requests. We believe there is a high level of pent-up demand to have a nonsmoking casino, especially here in Vegas.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Nikodemus is right about that.

The CDC reports that as many as 75% of regular casino visitors prefer smoke-free buildings.

The organization cites the well-known dangers of cigarette use and secondhand smoke as the reasoning behind the preference.

Casinos have long been smoke-friendly environments, but that might be starting to change.

With the health crisis adding one more reason to limit smoking, more casinos might end up setting those policies in stone for the years to come.

Photo by Getty
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Jake Garza

Jake Garza is a US Gambling Industry Analyst for Catena Media. He specializes in Midwest sports betting and casino content. Prior to covering the legal gambling industry, he spent time as a professional sports writer, reporting on teams such as the Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts and Indiana Pacers. Garza is currently working as a Managing Editor for PlayIndiana and PlayOhio, with previous stops at other well-known brands such as PlayIllinois and PlayMichigan. He has been covering the gambling industry since 2019, and currently works with a team of other journalists to provide comprehensive coverage of the legal U.S. gambling industry.

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