SkyCity Auckland is stuck in the middle of a debate between the Cancer Society and the local government. The organization has challenged the government’s smoking ban policy and SkyCity’s VIP lounge could lose its indoor smoking privileges.
Despite New Zealand’s new indoor smoking ban rules, there are some areas that remain exempt. Patrons are not normally allowed to smoking inside casinos and other entertainment venues but the government’s definition of an ‘outdoor area’ has made it possible for the Diamond Lounge in SkyCity Auckland to allow players to smoke inside.
If the government redefines an outdoor area and it affects the Diamond Lounge, representatives state that they will not fight the decision. The casino will ban smoking in the VIP room, and officials state that the move will not have significant negative effects on its business. SkyCity has also refused to testify in the Cancer Society’s case against the government, so the operator is not entirely worried about losing profits as a result of banning smoking.
Nigel Morrison, chief executive of SkyCity, admits that he would like his casino to offer players the ability to smoke indoors, as many patrons are in fact smokers. However, he does understand that attitudes about smoking continue to change and that now could be the time for SkyCity to update its policies on the matter.