Smoking to cease at Canadian casinos

Wednesday is the last day for smokers to light up at Canadian casinos, then business could light up on this side of the U.S.-Canada border.

That’s what The Seneca Nation of Indians is hoping for when a smoking ban goes into effect at Canadian gaming establishments June 1st.

The Seneca Niagara Casino allows smoking as New York state’s smoking ban doesn’t apply because the casino is on sovereign land and run by the Seneca Nation. Seneca Gaming Corp., which operates the Niagara Falls, N.Y. establishment, is hoping to see a positive impact from Canada’s legislation and gain an edge over the Canadian competition.

„Patrons of gaming establishments do enjoy the ability to smoke,“ said Phil Pantano, Seneca gaming spokesman. „Seeing that that’s being taken away from them in Canada and is available over here, we’re interested to see what traffic that creates for us.“

Pantano says another draw for the Seneca Niagara Casino is the new 604-room hotel. He says, after just a few months, it’s already attracting upscale clientele.

„Our reach was somewhat limited because we didn’t have four star hotel to put higher end patrons in,“ he said. „To add that amenity here helps bring in patrons and keep them here for a few days rather than a few hours.“