For many years, my wife and I traveled to West Virginia and Pennsylvania where we visited friends and relatives and frequented the casinos, including the Meadows Racetrack & Casino in North Strabane Township. Since Maryland opened their smoke-free casinos, we no longer need to patronize the smoke-filled casinos in those states. Now our friends and relatives come to visit us in Maryland where they can play in smoke-free casinos.
On a recent trip to Pittsburgh, we stopped twice at the Rocky Gap Casino Resort in Maryland. On both occasions it was very crowded, and we were astounded that about half the cars in the lots bore Pennsylvania or West Virginia license plates.
When we queried these folks as to why they came to Maryland to gamble, they consistently cited the smoke-free air.
Until Pennsylvania and West Virginia casino owners realize that 80 percent of the U.S. population consists of nonsmokers, and they ban smoking in their casinos, they will continue to lose patrons to Maryland.
John O’ Hara