Commentary on smoking ban effects By Anthony Toti, CEO, Mesquite Gaming

In November 2006, the citizens of Nevada voted to approve the Nevada Clean Indoor Air Act (NCIAA). It took effect in December 2006. Since then, Mesquite Gaming has invested a significant amount of time, expertise and money to provide clean, filtered air to its patrons. Mesquite Gaming fully complies with NCIAA. Restaurants, showrooms, meeting rooms and convention spaces are smoke free. It should be noted that NCIAA does not prohibit smoking in gaming areas.

A complete ban on smoking in the City of Mesquite will have a heavy impact on the casinos in Mesquite.

Mesquite Gaming pays millions of dollars in tax revenue to the City of Mesquite. This income is a major support for the city in the services it provides to its residents such as the Police Department, the Fire Department, parks and recreation areas and city public works including road maintenance and beautification projects.

Mesquite Gaming is the city’s largest employer. Hundreds of employees of Mesquite Gaming contribute to the economic well-being of the city. Many employees live in the city and pay property taxes to the city.

Mesquite Gaming is a strong financial supporter of the local schools, the youth sports teams and city-sponsored events.

To illustrate the impact that such a complete non-smoking ban can have on gaming companies, we can look to the states of Illinois, Indiana, and Colorado. Each of these states has banned smoking in every casino in their state. The state casino regulators in these states have concluded that their casino revenue has since declined as much as 31.9%. That decline would be even greater in Mesquite because, while patrons in those three states had no other places to go, the guests of Mesquite Gaming do have other choices. They can simply choose to vacation at casinos a few miles down the road. They would eat in their restaurants, stay in their hotels, visit their showrooms and move their conventions to other Nevada casino properties.

The revenue loss could easily be at 40% annually for Mesquite Gaming properties. As a direct result, tax revenue for the City of Mesquite would be severely reduced. Sixteen-hundred (1600) employees would have to be let go. People would be forced to move in order to find other employment. Local businesses, schools, and tourism will be negatively impacted.

History comes to mind. In 2008, the Oasis Hotel & Casino, once located in the City of Mesquite, closed. Hundreds of residents lost their jobs. Businesses closed. The housing market fell. The City of Mesquite suffered its greatest economic downturn in two decades.

Mesquite Gaming would have to protect its investments by closing its properties in Mesquite and move them to an area where they could become a viable asset to another community. In reality, every single resident of Mesquite would be impacted by this ban.


Anthony Toti

CEO, Mesquite Gaming


  1. Vinny Gracchus says:

    Reject this smoking ban. There is essentially no risk to others from second hand smoke. As an example of antismoker propaganda, consider the false reports of ‘heart attack miracles’ after bans were imposed. See Shetty, K. D., DeLeire, T., White, C. and Bhattacharya, J. (2011), Changes in U.S. hospitalization and mortality rates following smoking bans. J. Pol. Anal. Manage., 30: 6–28. doi:10.1002/pam.20548

    Abstract: “U.S. state and local governments have increasingly adopted restrictions on smoking in public places. This paper analyzes nationally representative databases, including the Nationwide Inpatient Sample, to compare short-term changes in mortality and hospitalization rates in smoking-restricted regions with control regions. In contrast with smaller regional studies, we find that smoking bans are not associated with statistically significant short-term declines in mortality or hospital admissions for myocardial infarction or other diseases. An analysis simulating smaller studies using subsamples reveals that large short-term increases in myocardial infarction incidence following a smoking ban are as common as the large decreases reported in the published literature.”

  2. Russell Clark says:

    If this doesn’t convince people to wake up then there’s no hope for Mesquite.

  3. Al Smith says:

    Just sayin…
    Rancho Gaming has their original Casino in Vegas as well.
    You figure it out Mesquite.
    Be a guinea pig for the State or Stand up for your community like these Businesses have stood up for your community. Example: 4th of July will be here soon who will put that on if the Eureka goes as well, the city can’t afford it now and haven’t for years.
    Mesquite is Smoke Free… Except for gaming areas in Casinos PERIOD. And now these people want that as well along with where you live, walk and soon to come drive.
    I don’t take Mr.Toti’s commentary as a threat as much as it is a Financial reality.
    But the other side won’t and will agitate the issue to the point Mesquite will be Casino-less… guaranteed.

  4. Lee Harper says:

    Everyone always says if don’t smoke or don’t like the smoke then don’t go in don’t go in, I think it would be better if the smokers would just step outside for a smoke and everyone can go into the casinos.

    • David Petrillo says:

      You make too much sense. It is incredible, since only 15% of the populations smokes, that our local casinos are willing to offend 85 potential customers for the sake of 15 customers. What great intelligence!

      • Amy Marshall says:

        Mr. Petrillo, I am getting REALLY tired of your insults every time you comment on this. Mr. Toti is correct–this town will suffer the consequences of this insane proposal. I concur with Teri Nehrenz’s suggestion on a previous thread. Open your OWN casino. Make it smoke-free. Good luck to you. Meanwhile, spare us your eye rolls, sarcasm, and name calling.

      • Janet Roberts says:

        Mr Petrillo if you feel so strongly about your 85% of offended non-smokers having to visit smoking casinos-why not start your own non-smoking casino and compete instead of forcing your lifestyle onto others? Prove your point by fair capitalism instead of forced liberalism.

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