The alcohol-free environment at Madison’s Ho-Chunk Gaming casino will soon be smoke-free as well.

Ho-Chunk Gaming – Madison will become the first casino in Wisconsin to be completely smoke-free after the new policy takes 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 making the move after taking a survey of customers.

Casino spokeswoman Missy Tracy said electronic cigarettes will be allowed on the gaming floor because 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 other Native American tribes are sovereign nations, they are not required to follow the 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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