Smoking and slot games are two activities that are joined at the hip at casinos across the board. The Winnavegas Casino is changing the game by putting in the first non-smoking room at any casino in Western Iowa.
The games in the non-smoking room have been actively running for a week and gamblers who enjoy coming to Winnavegas are all over the idea.
"When I came in this morning, the lady Deb that I'm with, she says, 'Patty they have a non-smoking room now!' and I said, 'Oh well let's go'," says Patty Smith, a Winnavegas gambler. "I'm a past smoker, I haven't smoked for 10 years, and you can tell the difference so it's much better not having the smoke around you."
"I love it because I don't like to get hit by smoke, it makes me cough, so this is nice," says Twila Cleveland, a Winnavegas gambler. "We kind of wish casinos would all go non-smoking because it never fails that when you want to play a machine, there's somebody sitting by you that's smoking.
The whole idea to have a non-smoking room was brought up because there was a market for people who love gambling but don't love being around smoke.
"People love this because this is what they've been waiting for for a long time," says Travis Morgan, marketing director. "They can actually come to a place and gamble completely smoke-free. We have something that nobody else really has. It's the exact same gaming experience and you're not going to miss a beat. This is perfect."
The idea to build the smoke-free room was set in motion three weeks ago and it only took three days for their maintenance team to gather more than 70 slot machines into the room and have it up and running.
Although the area has an "open" wall that leads to the main area where smoking is allowed, the difference between the two rooms is still noticeable to many guests who prefer to stay away from the smoke.
Morgan added that because this is the first casino to have a non-smoking room in Western Iowa, he anticipates it will attract more gamblers from other casinos where they don't have the option to turn away from the smokey aroma.
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