Protect casino workers’ health, ban smoking

Man extinguishes a cigarette in an ashtray

It’s time to put people before profit. Smoking should be banned in casinos. [Image:]

profits over people

There is currently a bill in the New Jersey legislature that would fill a loophole by allowing smoking on 25% of the casino floor. It is reportedly backed by a majority of lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, but it’s nowhere near a vote.

It’s time the New Jersey state legislature took action and did something for the people. This isn’t a situation where a company wants their employees to have a shorter lunch break or not get paid for the setup they make before the workday technically begins. That’s bad enough, but this is literally a “wins over people” scenario.

All my oncologists have told me this is a life and death decision.”

“I don’t even know how long I’m going to live,” Holly Diebler, a Tropicana craps dealer who is in the middle of chemotherapy for throat cancer, told a New Jersey state assembly committee Thursday. “I love my job; I don’t want to leave it. But all my oncologists have told me this is a life and death decision.”

New Jersey isn’t the only state where smoking in casinos is a growing problem — there have also been movements in Virginia, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania — but Atlantic City is at the heart of the debate.

Casino employees ask for help

Tammy Brady, who has worked as a trader in Atlantic City for nearly four decades, has stage two breast cancer. Also testify in the congregationShe admitted that no one knows exactly why she got cancer, but “I can’t help but wonder if it would have happened if the casinos hadn’t forced me to work secondhand smoke.”

If a player blows a cloud of smoke at me 12″ away, I cannot move.

Against the smoke they wallow in daily, there is nothing these employees can do except quit or fight the long battle in the halls of the legislature. Borgata dealer Pete Naccarelli said at a Senate hearing Last month: “If a player blows a cloud of smoke at me from 12 inches away, I can’t move and I’m forbidden to wave the smoke away, a gesture that would be considered rude… We don’t think it’s fair that we are.” between a paycheck and our health.”

Craps dealer Janice Green, 62, said her employer Tropicana told her it would “embarrass the customer” waving smoke off her face. “You mean the customer who kills me?”

Casinos are afraid of turning away players

If casinos knew with absolute certainty that banning smoking would be profitable, they would do it. But they’re afraid that banning the activity would drive customers away, so fuck it, light those crabsticks. I can’t think of any other way to attract players. Impossible.

Bob McDevitt, president of Local 54 of casino union Unite Here, believes a smoking ban could cut industry revenues by 10% and lead to the closure of at least one casino. The Casino Association of New Jersey estimates that revenue losses could be 20-25%.

A person cannot work when he is dead.

Industry groups and gaming companies are rightly concerned about the continued rise out of the pit caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. And I understand the concern that smoking bans will turn away customers and thus cost jobs – my wife has had multiple jobs since the pandemic began – but if the alternative is to tell your employees to suck up carcinogens every day, then business has one bigger problem. A person cannot work when he is dead.

Studies support smoke-free casinos

Despite casino concerns, there is evidence that a smoking ban is not bad for business at all. in one Study June 2022, C3 Gaming noted that “those casinos that implemented smoking bans did not experience a drop in revenue or lost market share to nearby casinos that continued to offer smoking environments,” adding that 157 tribes had no revenue drop after the smoking ban. In fact, maintenance costs have decreased, which increases profitability.

Non-smoking properties appear to be doing better than their counterparts.”

C3 also said states should look at recent trends, not data from a decade or two ago, when other factors may have played a role in reducing casino revenue. Recent data, according to the advisory group, shows that “non-smoking properties appear to be performing better than their counterparts that continue to allow smoking.”

Another 2021 study by Meczka Market Research/Consulting of gamblers in the Pacific Northwest found that “smoking allowed” was the top reason for choosing a casino for just 4% of respondents. On the other hand, “smoking is not allowed” was the main reason for 26% and the main reason was “location, close to home” with 32%.

It would be nice if all casinos would voluntarily ban smoking, but if they don’t, the legislature must act. Protect casino workers’ health, ban smoking

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