One Las Vegas sports book is now smoke free. If you spent time in the Westgate Las Vegas Race and Sports Superbook a month ago, chances are your clothes would smell like smoke, even if you’re not a smoker. That’s not the case anymore.
“A lot of people characterize sports bettors as, you know, smoking cigars and gambling and all these games, but they’re very health conscious people,” said Westgate Las Vegas Vice President of Race and Sports Operations Jay Kornegay.
He says the Westgate is keeping up with the times.
“It felt like the requests for a non-smoking venue and the demand just really has escalated over the last year or so,” he said.
Shortly before March Madness, smoking was banned in the main area of the sports book. Kornegay says feedback has been positive.
“It’s been 99.9 percent positive,” he said.
Sports bettor Ricky Fernandez may be in the minority.
“I don’t like it. I don’t like it at all,” he said. “I like it here. It’s a good sports book, but the policy is wrong.”
He’s one of four regulars 8 News NOW spoke with Wednesday; two are smokers, and two are non-smokers.
“The air is clearer, that’s for sure,” said bettor Louis Edwards.
Smokers don’t have to walk far. They can light up in the casino, at the bar or outside.
“It doesn’t bother me,” said bettor and smoker Richard Yeast.
He went to one of the designated areas and smoked there.
“I understand it, because of the second-hand smoke. People don’t like it,” he said.
James Hau is a non-smoker who says he likes the change.
“A lot of times, I would come in here, make my bets and leave because of the smoking. I would go somewhere else, but I like being in here, because all my friends are in here,” he said.
Kornegay says business is not down. They had a packed house for March Madness, and he says he’s seeing new faces.
Several other sports books in Las Vegas have also made this change.
At the Westgate, the smoking restrictions came at the same time as some new renovations.