Brian Christopher, a prominent gaming influencer on social media, announced that he is joining the casino anti-smoking movement. Going forward, he says he will promote only smoke-free venues and events.
It is time for gaming to join the ranks of the best entertainment venues, restaurants, and bars that went smoke-free years ago. The health of those who work and play in casinos should be just as important as in any other industry. With only 13% of the US population smoking nowadays, it no longer makes sense that 100% of patrons should have to be exposed to harmful chemicals.
The announcement comes when many casinos are deciding whether or not to bring back indoor smoking as COVID-19 restrictions lift. An increasing number have been choosing a smoke-free future.
Who is Brian Christopher?
Brian Christopher is the top social influencer in the gaming world. He posts videos of himself playing live slots online and in person for his 1.1 million followers. These include over 500,000 subscribers to his YouTube channel, which gets five million monthly views.
Christopher regularly tests new games, talks casino strategy with his followers, and explains how games work. However, the videos that attract the most interest are the ones where he discusses budgeting and how to play responsibly.
His online success has translated onto the casino floor with the creation of a branded slot: Brian Christopher’s Pop’n Pays More. This first-of-its-kind crossover has proven hugely successful and is showing up in many casinos, including Harrah’s. Players can also find it on select Carnival Cruise Line ships.
Another sponsorship Christopher has landed himself is a dedicated bank of 25 slots at Plaza Hotel & Casino in downtown Las Vegas. In that “BC Slots” section, his fans can play games he’s picked out as his favorites. He also hosts periodic meet-and-greet events with his fans.
Downtown Vegas Will Get Its First Smoke-Free Area
As part of his move to promote smoke-free venues, the Plaza Hotel & Casino is expanding that partnership. The new BC Slots section will expand to over 85 machines from the current 25. It will also feature special ventilation and separate outdoor access from the new Main Street façade. This is to allow players to enjoy slots in that section without having to walk through smoking areas of the casino or be exposed to any second-hand smoke wafting in.
Lisa Melmed, marketing manager at the Plaza Hotel & Casino, elaborated:
BC Slots at the Plaza has been very successful. Guests enjoy playing the games that they have seen Brian play in his videos, and many appreciate the fact that his dedicated area is smoke-free. Given the continued popularity of BC Slots at the Plaza, we are excited to open Brian Christopher Slots as our new and expanded smoke-free and social media-friendly casino addition next to our iconic dome entrance.
The move is a significant milestone for Sin City, marking the first smoke-free area in downtown Las Vegas. Although casino smoking is still the default in Nevada, the Plaza has realized that it represents an opportunity for differentiation. Many players, especially those of younger generations, prefer a smoke-free casino experience.
Depending on the response, the strategy may prompt other casinos in the downtown area to follow suit. These include the original Golden Nugget Casino and other iconic Fremont Street properties.
What Does The Future Hold For Smoking Inside Casinos?
COVID-19 was one of the most challenging times for Last Vegas and the casino industry. But one side effect that caught attention was smoke-free casinos. Years ago, anyone would tell you that you can’t have casino and smoke-free in the same sentence, but that’s changing.
As people become more conscious about their health, many seek smoke-free areas, including casinos. Recent reports show that change is happening. Las Vegas-based C3 Gaming, for instance, found that smoke-free casinos actually perform better than those that allow smoking, contrary to the conventional wisdom in the industry. Furthermore, there are more casino-goers who will prioritize non-smoking policies than who will seek out casinos that allow it.
Additionally, casino employees are also becoming more concerned and vocal about their health. Enrollment is increasing in anti-smoking groups like Casino Employees Against Smoking’s Effects (CEASE). That New Jersey-based organization hopes to bring awareness and implement smoking bans inside Atlantic City casinos for the sake of guests’ and employees’ health.
Another nonprofit organization, Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights, has been actively working with government organizations and casinos.
Such efforts are paying dividends. There are now over 1,000 smoke-free gaming venues in the US.