Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) has been an ongoing issue for casinos in the U.S., fueling debate between state legislators and casino owners, workers and customers. New state legislation is pushing for designated smoking areas within casinos, and one example is in Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania casinos can legally designate up to 50% of their facilities as “smoking areas” if they can show that revenues generated are higher from these particular sections. Despite the designated smoking areas located on the gaming floor, oftentimes the smoke still manages to spill into areas that are designated as non-smoking. In many cases, it also makes breathing within the designated smoking area a challenge for the smokers themselves. Therefore, finding ways to eliminate smoke particulate and the harmful chemicals itcontains is critical for many casino managers and building owners, not only in Pennsylvania, but also around the globe. Today, casino owners and operators must carefully weigh potential health risks to customers and staff against substantial revenue loss due to patrons’ decreased playing time from having to relocate to a designated smoking area or go outside and leave the casino altogether.
An iconic Pennsylvania category 3 casino recently took measures to improve the air quality of its gaming floor to increase customer satisfaction and make its employees’ work environment healthier and more enjoyable.
With customer satisfaction as its main goal, the casino set its sights on managing and reducing the amount of cigarette smoke inside its 35,000 square foot facility. With high levels of smoke in the air and smoke particles traveling throughout heating and air-conditioning systems to non-smoking areas, poor air quality on the facility’s gaming floor was causing problems for casino workers as well as resort patrons. In order to justify maintaining its smoking section in the casino, the facility needed to accommodate smoking customers who were consistently proven to play longer and thus spend more on the gaming floor. For those customers who did not smoke, the goal was to reduce the unpleasant, smoke-related odors on the premises and cut down on the exposure to the harmful effects of secondhand smoke. Finally, with respect to its casino floor workforce, the organization wanted to ensure a quality environment that enabled its staff to maintain a healthier lifestyle, resulting in fewer sick days. However, the casino soon learned that it couldn’t accomplish these objectives using its existing electronic filter systems.
Plasma Air’s 50 Series ion technology was installed directly into the casino's rooftop air handling units to produce a balanced quantity of positive and negative ions in the facility at a lower cost than competitors. The ions are delivered to the space through the duct system where they interact with pollutants on a molecular level, reducing Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and increasing the overall indoor air quality.
By deploying Plasma Air’s bipolar ionization technology, the Pennsylvania casino substantially reduced unpleasant odors and particulate associated with cigarette and cigar smoke in its gaming facility. This outcome significantly increased customer and employee satisfaction levels and made the environment healthier and the gaming experience more enjoyable for smokers and non-smokers alike.
The strongest evidence that Plasma Air was instrumental in helping the casino achieve its goal of increasing customer satisfaction was the results of customer surveys following its installation. Prior to using the ionization technology, the negative comments concerning odor from smoking ranked #1 or #2 on the surveys. Following the installation of the system, they consistently dropped out of the top ten customer complaints.