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Ho-Chunk Casino going smoke-free in Madison

Ho-Chunk Casino going smoke-free in Madison

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The alcohol-free environment at Madison's casino will soon be smoke-free as well.

Ho-Chunk Gaming Madison will become the first casino in Wisconsin to be totally smoke-free, the new policy taking effect on Aug. 1.

"We're excited to offer our guests and employees a completely smoke-free environment," said executive manager Daniel Brown.

Ho-Chunk Gaming Madison, located on the city's far Southeast Side near the Beltline interchange with I-39/90, is going smoke-free after taking a survey of customers.

Casino spokeswoman Missy Tracy told Madison.com electronic (e) cigarettes will be allowed on the gaming floor, since they do not produce smoke, only water vapor.

Regular smokers will be allowed to smoke in a facility that will not be attached to the existing casino.

"There will be a tent set up temporarily as the designated area outside of the facility until the separate structure is built," Tracy said.

Wisconsin enacted a smoking prohibition in restaurants, bars and entertainment venues five years ago, but since the Ho-Chunk Nation (and all other Native American tribes) is a sovereign nation, it didn't have to follow the new state law.

"We believe we are among the first businesses choosing to do this on our own, rather than being mandated to do so," Brown said.

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