Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Rethinking Atlantic City’s Ban on Casino Smoking

The New York Times: Some of the only winners of the deepening financial crisis may be smokers in Atlantic City’s casinos.

Prodded by Donald Trump, the city may postpone a smoking ban set to take effect in casinos on Oct. 15, The Associated Press reported. Casino revenues this year are already down 5.2 percent (a pdf), with slots down 6.8 percent, and owners say that adding a smoking ban now could deal a body blow to struggling casinos.

“The smoking ban will have a huge, negative impact on Atlantic City — beyond any competition, beyond anything,” Trump told reporters at a recent ribbon-cutting, according to The Press of Atlantic City. “All we can do is to ask the council to reconsider.”

Move over 'Chelm', there's a new dumb town in town
Excuse me? This is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. The subtext is "Let's get more money in the short term by killing you all in the long term and then once you're all dead, we'll realise our consumer base is gone and we won't be able to make any more money." This is pretty much exactly the same reason we're in this financial problem in the first place- make huge returns in the short term, but up shit creek, definitely no paddle, in long term.

Unfortunately, this is the kind of genius we are faced with every day. There's a problem involving cash flow, the chips are quite figuratively and literally down, so some obscure rationale is picked for the reason behind the problem. In this case, it doesn't look like there is any research to reflect that a smoking ban causes a downturn. In fact, New Yorkers were concerned about a drop in tourism when they banned smoking in restaurants and bars, and today we see it has actually had no effect.

Marketing world comparables include:
  • Creating/joining a social network or any other apparent hot thing, because it's the flavour of the month and we need to be where the cool kids are. Of course there is no thought or rationale behind the voice or objective of the brand...
  • An online publisher explaining a sponsorship deal as "a banner takeover"
  • Having a wet dream over the new iPhone
  • Listening to marketing Hoopla- you're in marketing for pete's sake!
In closing, gamblers are gamblers are gamblers. And don't we think it's better for them to have only one problem than help them perpetuate 2?!

1 comment:

Nancy said...

The minority of ignorant smokers make it bad for the considerate ones who do not blow smoke in everyonme's face.

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