Casino Workers Respond to Scheduled Committee Hearing on Smokefree Casino Legislation

January 25, 2024 Contact:

Trenton, NJFollowing news that the New Jersey Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee will vote on legislation to close the casino smoking loophole, Casino Employees Against Smoking Effects (CEASE) issued the following statement:

"This is a critical step towards guaranteeing our right to breathe clean air at work and lawmakers must recognize the urgency of getting this bill passed. We made clear during the last legislative session that any attempts to weaken this bill will not be tolerated, and those who turn their back on workers will be held accountable. For over two years we have been fighting to end indoor smoking in our workplace and our coalition continues to grow stronger every day. Our lives should not be treated like bargaining chips, and we refuse to accept the status quo where we are expected to choose between our health and our paycheck."

The United Auto Workers (UAW), the only labor union representing casino dealers strongly supports the legislation and has repeatedly called on New Jersey lawmakers to protect the health of their members. UAW represents thousands of workers in Atlantic City casinos, including dealers at Caesars, Bally’s, and Tropicana, who are the most affected workers in a casino, as their job requires them to spend their entire shift an arm’s length from smokers.

UAW has also rejected the Philip Morris Smoking Rooms proposed by some in the industry. “The UAW will not compromise on the health of any worker. We reject any amendment in the legislation that would allow workers to ‘volunteer’ to work in smoking rooms. No one should have to risk their health for a paycheck,” wrote UAW President Shawn Fain in a recent letter to lawmakers.

A recent poll found that 74% of New Jerseyans and Philadelphians would be more likely to visit Atlantic City casinos if they were to operate 100% smokefree indoors, completely contradicting claims by casinos. 


Casino Employees Against Smoking Effects (CEASE) is a group of thousands of casino dealers and other frontline gaming workers that is fighting to permanently remove smoking from our workplaces. CEASE has chapters working to close the casino smoking loophole in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Kansas and Virginia.