Kangwon Land Casino to Ban Smoking Next Year

      August 25, 2010 09:46

      Kangwon Land, the only casino in the country open to Koreans, will go smoke-free from next year.

      A casino spokesman Tuesday said that to improve the atmosphere it is getting rid of smoking booths inside the casino and setting up them outside. "Starting next year, a smoking ban will be implemented throughout the entire casino," he added.

      Banning smoking is akin to a taboo in the gambling business, and Kangwon Land claims it will be the first casino to do it. The casino, which has been bustling since it opened in 2003, first set up smoking areas in 2004 and three years later limited smoking to booths.

      Kangwon Land has never been like most casinos. It stopped selling alcohol in 2003 and in 2004 installed clocks and mirrors. Casinos often remove clocks, mirrors, and windows to encourage gamblers to play night and day, and sell alcohol and cigarettes to keep them from thinking clearly.

      A staffer at Kangwon Land conducts an alcohol test on a visitor at the entrance to the casino.

      "We do alcohol tests at the entrance, and visitors who have consumed more than the limit are not allowed to come in," the spokesman said. "We're trying to establish a healthy gaming culture by breaking conventions, such as restricting the number of times that a person can visit to 15 per month."

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