For a long time, casinos were one of the few places in Oregon where you can spend your time in a haze of nicotine fumes. This fact was disgusting to some and attractive to others. But, now with the new Covid regulation, it becomes a question is smoking legal in Oregon casinos, and if yes, where?
Officially, Oregon casinos have the right to allow smoking on their premises, and many do even now. But, with the new rules in place to stipple the spread of the virus, many casinos have opted to open but without allowing smoking or vaping.
Generally, there are three rules to remember:
- Smoking of any kind is currently not allowed inside any gaming room
- Most casinos allow smoking outside
- Tribal casinos follow the same rules as those on state land
Tribal casinos here are the most interesting legally because there is no federal mandate that would force them to ban smoking. Still, these operations have accepted the findings that smoking does increase the spread of the virus and have opted to ban the practice.
For advocates against smoking in general, which is a practice detrimental to one’s health, proclaiming victory might be a bit too soon. Namely, these are rules for acute issues such as the pandemic and won’t be mandatory once the danger has passed.
New Rules for Covid Compliance
Even after a year, there aren’t clear explanations why for some the new virus is little more than the flu while for others it can be fatal. In the wider picture, this doesn’t even matter because moderate cases still pack in hospitals and are a drain on the system.
For this reason, exactly most institutions and businesses have introduced measures to stop the virus and keep it from spreading as much as possible. The same goes for casinos that have made some mandatory changes and have even reduced the number of games like slot machines where people are usually closer to each other.
If you go through the list of Oregon casinos at casinos.us you will notice that most venues are open to the public. In all of them, the same rules will apply, with only some allowing more lenient measures outside of closed spaces.
The rules include plastic barriers, regular temperature measurements, and finally banned smoking in indoor areas.
Vaping Might be Included
Even with outright smoking being banned, the fact that vaping and chewing isn’t listed first implied that such practices would be allowed. But, a broader reading of the rules would state the opposite.
Tobacco and cannabis lovers in Oregon will still be able to enjoy these items outside, especially in vape form, but will be asked to leave the casino if they try to consume behind closed doors.
Cannabis enthusiasts here are in luck due to the existence of edibles, as there is even vegan hemp chocolate to find in stores now. Chewing tobacco on the other hand might be seen as against the rules and should be avoided if not otherwise stated by the casino.
Tribal Casinos Will Comply, for Now
Although tribal casinos in Oregon have usually been exempt from most of the rules made by the state legislature due to their autonomous legal status, this doesn’t apply to Covid rules that prohibit smoking indoors.
The logic behind such compliance isn’t legal in nature but technical, as these operations would like to ensure their guests, as well as any relevant authority, that they are safe to visit and can accommodate players without major risks of infection.
But, it should be stated that there is little forcing casinos on tribal lands to keep these rules in place. Legally, there is nothing the state can do if tribal authorities decide to revoke the bans.
Because of this, it is quite possible, if not completely likely, that all of the bans and restrictions imposed during the pandemic will be reverted once the danger is over and we can all go to our regular lives.
Kindness towards Others
During these, how the media likes to portray them, ‘’trying times’’ it is important that we don’t let the debate about health and liberty push aside the human factor. The truth is that we don’t know how someone might react to the infection and we should do our best to keep others from harm as well.
Although it is troublesome and many are having problems managing the stress induced by the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, there are always alternatives we can find to make our life as enjoyable as possible regardless of the circumstances.
Going to play a few hands in a casino won’t hurt anyone, and we should try to manage the risks to keep this statement true.