Legends Bay Casino in Sparks Urged to End Indoor Smoking, Truly Protect Employees From Harmful Health Impacts

Ventilation System Experts Recently Warned Nevada Casinos That Even the Best Filtration Systems Do Not Protect Workers & Guests from Secondhand Smoke’s Harms

New Report from Las Vegas-Based Researchers Find Casinos Without Indoor Smoking Now Generate More Revenue Than Smoking Casinos

August 30, 2022

Reno, NV – In response to comments from Olympia Gaming Regional President Court Cardinal, whose company operates Legends Bay Casino in Sparks, about deciding to expose employees to indoor smoking, Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights (ANR), which advocates for smokefree casinos, released the following statement:

“This is an outdated decision based on an economic and public health reality that no longer exists,” said Cynthia Hallett, president and CEO of ANR. “As the engineering experts who build ventilation and filtration systems recently made clear to Nevada casino operators, no current system can protect workers and guests from the harms of secondhand smoke – even if the smell is masked. The employees must breathe that smoke before it even reaches the ceiling. Further, a recent report from Las Vegas-based C3 Gaming found that times have changed – casinos that do not permit indoor smoking generate more revenue than casinos that continue to allow the outdated business practice of indoor smoking. Legends Bay should end indoor smoking to truly protect the health of their employees and guests from deadly secondhand smoke and attract customers who currently refuse to spend time and money in casinos where smoking is still allowed.”

Experts on air filtration and ventilation systems recently issued a memo to the Nevada Resort Association, rebuking claims by some in the casino industry, about the effectiveness of such systems in casino resorts and their ability to protect against the dangerous health effects of breathing secondhand smoke. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) was prompted to correct the record following a statement by Association President Virginia Valentine that erroneously suggested newly installed systems can remove smoke from the casino floor.

In June, Las Vegas-based C3 Gaming released a report that the pandemic has left a lasting change in which smokefree casinos perform better than smoke-filled casinos. The report finds that “data from multiple jurisdictions clearly indicates that banning smoking no longer causes a dramatic drop in gaming revenue. In fact, non-smoking properties appear to be performing better than their counterparts that continue to allow smoking.”

Americans for Nonsmoker’s Rights (ANR) is a member-supported, non-profit advocacy group that has been working for 45 years, since 1976, to protect everyone’s right to breathe nontoxic air in workplaces and public places, from offices and airplanes to restaurants, bars, and casinos. ANR 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. ANR aims to close gaps in smokefree protections for workers in all workplaces, including bars, music venues, casinos, and hotels. For more information, please visit https://no-smoke.org/ and https://smokefreecasinos.org/.