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A look at casino gaming and entertainment around New Mexico

Smoke-free zones: Find them at area casinos, including Santa Ana Star

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A view of the gaming floor at Santa Ana Star Casino. (Courtesy of Santa Ana Star Casino)

A view of the gaming floor at Santa Ana Star Casino. (Courtesy of Santa Ana Star Casino)

Heading out to the casino most of the time means I will come home smelling like an ashtray even though I’m not a smoker. But, I have come to accept that smoking and gambling usually go hand-in-hand.

I usually just grin and bear it, but some area casinos are taking the initiative to give nonsmoking patrons their own separate facility to play slots and video poker.

Recently, Isleta Resort & Casino revamped its nonsmoking sister location Palace West. It erected a new building that is much larger and far more impressive than the old facility that was made up of a few mobile trailers.

Now Santa Ana Star Casino is offering its own version, which caters to patrons who want to enjoy the gaming floor without the smoke.

The new area at Santa Ana Star Casino has its own independent air filtration system, which uses fresh air. The new smoke-free gaming area replaces the nonsmoking slot area. The new area is enclosed by modern floor-to-ceiling glass paneling.

It is an 11,000-square-foot space that features 250 slot machines and amenities. It includes its own entrance from the casino parking lot as well as an eatery that is located inside the nonsmoking area. Nonsmoking patrons also have access to a self-serve beverage station.

The nonsmoking area is separated by several sets of automatic glass doors that connect it to the main casino. The smoke-free area has an “easy flow” to and from the main casino floor so guests can be part of the “action” wherever they are most comfortable. Guest comfort is the casino’s main priority, Santa Ana Star Casino General Manager John Cirrincione said in a news release.

Today, Santa Ana Star Casino also is celebrating the Fourth of July with some four times the points all day. There also will be hourly $100 hot seats from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. today. Guests wearing their Fourth of July wristband will double their hot-seat winnings. The free wristbands will be passed out in the casino’s front lobby.

Now through July 25 earn entries for your chance to win a 2014 Jeep Patriot. Earn entries for every 1,000 points accrued playing your favorite slot machine or with one hour of table play. The drawing will be held at 8 p.m. July 25. Bonus cash drawings will follow the Jeep drawing when two people will win $250 each half-hour between 8:30-9:30 p.m.

Enjoy the “Carnival of Cash” promotion every Saturday through July 26. Star Rewards Club members begin earning entries for every 1,000 points earned in slot play or one hour of table play.

Drawings will be held each Saturday at 8 p.m. Each week five guests will win up to $150. The guest who wins the top prize each week also will qualify to participate in the final drawing on July 26. Each of the qualifying guests also will have the chance to play a midway-style game to double the amount of their prize.

In the final drawing, qualifiers from each week will play a carnival game and win cash prizes up to $5,000. They also will play for an opportunity to double their winnings.

ROUTE 66 HOTEL CASINO: Celebrate Independence Day today with giveaways, live entertainment and food specials. Mexican-American rapper, producer and actor Lil Rob with Diverse Official & Set will take the Envy Nightclub stage at 9 tonight. DJ Aquattro will keep you dancing after the Lil Rob show.

Enjoy the split-level dance floor and seating area or cool off on the outdoor patio with your favorite cocktail. Tickets for the show are $15. Doors open at 8 p.m.

Step away from the grill on Sunday, July 6 and enjoy an all-you-can-eat Backyard Grill & BBQ Buffet from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. for $12.99 with your Ultimate Rewards Players Club card. Pile up your plate with a variety of barbecue and grilled favorites as well as other delicious eats from the International Grill and Mediterranean Cafe.

Also, don’t forget to head to the Southwest & Classic American Dishes area and the Sweet Sensations Handmade Desserts bar. It’s all part of Buffet 66.

Route 66 also will be offering 50-cent hot dogs all of the Fourth of July weekend at concession stands located throughout the property. Grab one, or load up on this American favorite.

Start earning your chance at free gas for a year during the “Great Gas Giveaway.” Every weekend 40 casino guests will win a $50 gas card and two luckier guests will win gas for a year. All you need to do is play your favorite slot machine or table game using your Ultimate Rewards card to be eligible.

Hot-seat drawings start at 3 p.m. and every 15 minutes a guest will win a $50 gas voucher. One lucky guest will win free gas for year between 8 and 9 p.m. For details, call 505-352-7866 or visit rt66casino.com.

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