Boyd, Bally’s & Caesars Shareholders to Vote on Smokefree Proposal at Upcoming Annual Meetings

Shareholder Proposal Requests That Casino Corporations Commission and Disclose a Report on the Potential Cost Savings Through Adoption of a Smokefree Policy for Company Properties

April 9, 2024


Berkeley, CA – In the next several weeks, shareholders for Bally’s Corporation, Boyd Gaming, and Caesars Entertainment will vote on a proposal requesting that the companies individually commission and disclose a report on the potential cost savings through adoption of a smokefree policy at their properties across the United States. Boyd Gaming and Caesars Entertainment sought to omit the proposal from their Annual Meeting of Stockholders. However, the votes will take place after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rebuffed attempts to dismiss the proposal.
Shareholders will vote on May 9 (Boyd Gaming), May 16 (Bally’s Corporation) and likely in June, with the exact date to be announced (Caesars Entertainment, Inc.).
“We look forward to educating our fellow Bally’s, Boyd and Caesars shareholders ahead of the upcoming votes to simply examine the social and environmental costs and risks of continuing to allow indoor smoking. Many shareholders will be surprised to learn that these casino companies still allow indoor smoking, even in the year 2024, and that the policy is harming the very workers who were instrumental in the companies generating billions of dollars in revenue in 2023,” said Cynthia Hallett, president and CEO of American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation (ANRF), a co-filer of the resolutions. “Independent research continues to show smokefree casinos would attract more customers and thus drive even greater revenue. If casinos will not do the right thing on their own, then we will continue to explore every avenue to protect the well-being of workers and patrons.”
“We risk our lives every day just by going to work. In the year 2024, we know too much about the dangers of secondhand smoke to have to risk our health for a paycheck,” said Pete Naccarelli, a longtime casino table games dealer and co-founder of Casino Employees Against Smoking Effects (CEASE), which formed in 2020 to fight to end indoor smoking at their workplaces. “It’s unacceptable and long past time for casino corporations to end this outdated business practice. I worry about living long enough to be there for my two sons and wife. The least the casinos can do is study the impact of indoor smoking.”
A video, “A Loophole in NJ Law Is Killing Casino Workers,” published by More Perfect Union, highlights the urgency of the casino workers’ fight to close the casino loophole.

75 Smoke-Filled Casinos with Tens of Thousands of Workers Affected

Bally’s Corporation operates nine casinos that continue to maintain indoor smoking in seven states: Indiana; Louisiana; Mississippi; Missouri; Nevada; New Jersey; and Rhode Island. The company also operates five smokefree casinos, per state law, in Colorado, Delaware and Illinois. In 2023, Bally’s successfully fought to repeal a local ordinance in Shreveport, Louisiana that prohibited indoor smoking at casinos. It employs approximately 10,000 workers.

Boyd Gaming operates 25 casinos that permit indoor smoking in eight states: Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Louisiana; Mississippi; Missouri; Pennsylvania; and Nevada. The company also operates two smokefree casinos, per state law, in Ohio and Illinois. In 2023, Boyd successfully fought to repeal a local ordinance in Shreveport, Louisiana that prohibited indoor smoking at casinos. It employs approximately 16,000 workers

Caesars Entertainment operates 41 casinos that permit indoor smoking in 12 states: Arizona; California; Florida; Indiana; Iowa; Louisiana; Mississippi; Missouri; Nevada; and Pennsylvania. The company also operates seven smokefree casinos, per state law, in Colorado; Illinois; Maryland; and Ohio. It employs approximately 51,000 workers.

In a resolution submitted in November 2023 to Boyd Gaming (and in similar resolutions submitted around the same timeframe in late 2023 to all three corporations), lead filler Trinity Health, a Livonia, Michigan-based health care system, and co-filer ANRF wrote: “There are potential business risks to allowing indoor smoking in Boyd Gaming properties, from higher employee health insurance premiums (when compared with casinos that don’t permit indoor smoking), greater maintenance costs, and deterring a significant number of potential visitors who won’t visit a casino due exposure to tobacco smoke (87% of the American public does not smoke).”

“Shareholders have no guidance as to the costs our Company is bearing for continuing to allow indoor smoking, nor has the Company disclosed the social and environmental costs and risks imposed on its stakeholders,” wrote the filers. “Shareholders request the Board of Directors commission and disclose a report on the potential cost savings through the adoption of a smokefree policy for Boyd Gaming properties.”

In response to Boyd’s December 29, 2023 “No-Action Request,” the SEC wrote to Boyd Gaming on March 18, 2024: “We are unable to concur in your view that the Company may exclude the Proposal under Rule 14a-8(i)(7). In our view, the Proposal transcends ordinary business matters and does not seek to micromanage the Company.”

  • Boyd Gaming’s Notice of Annual Meeting and Proxy Statement, which includes the entire resolution, may be viewed here.
  • Bally’s Corporation Proxy Statement, which includes the entire resolution, may be viewed here.
  • The resolution submitted to Caesars Entertainment, along with the company’s letter to the SEC seeking exclusion of the proposal, may be viewed here.

Sister organization to ANR, American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation (ANRF) is a 501c3 non-profit educational and advocacy group that has been working for over 40 years to protect everyone’s right to breathe nontoxic air in workplaces and public places, from offices and airplanes to restaurants, bars, and casinos. ANRF has continuously shined a light on the tobacco industry’s interference with sound and life-saving public health measures and successfully protected 61% of the population with local or statewide smokefree workplace, restaurant, and bar laws. ANRF aims to close gaps in smokefree protections for workers in all workplaces, including bars, music venues, casinos, and hotels. For more information, please visit ANRF projects include and