BREAKING: Atlantic City Casinos Set Revenue Record While Operating Smokefree in June
"It's Time For Gov. Murphy & Senate President Sweeney to Act to Finally Close the Casino Loophole" to Protect Workers & Guests
July 16, 2021
Atlantic City, NJ – As Atlantic City casinos today reported an all-time revenue record in the month of June, the last full month during which they operated smokefree indoors, Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights President and CEO Cynthia Hallett released the following statement:
"Another record-breaking revenue month in Atlantic City -- while casinos operated smokefree -- offers the latest evidence that smokefree is good for business. Industry arguments for indoor smoking, even in the year 2021, have lost credibility. It's time for Governor Murphy and Senate President Sweeney to act to finally close the casino loophole so that workers and guests are not forced to breathe harmful secondhand smoke. No one should have to choose between a job and a paycheck."
Earlier this month, the Star-Ledger editorial board published an editorial calling for New Jersey's elected officials to finally close the casino loophole that forces gaming employees and guests to breathe secondhand smoke in Atlantic City. Gaming executives “have yet to explain how profits at Atlantic City casinos were 11% higher in the first quarter of 2021 than in the first quarter of 2019. Repeat: When smoking was banned, profits rose...It’s time to get a bill to [Gov. Murphy's] desk, and it must be a priority in the next session. Casino workers cannot hold their breath forever."
Longtime Pittsburgh Tribune-Review gaming writer Mark Gruetze called on Pennsylvania's elected leaders and casinos to make gaming venues across the Commonwealth permanently smokefree. "One side effect of the pandemic was forcing each Pennsylvania casino to test how customers reacted to a smoking ban. Casinos’ bottom lines prove people like it – or, at the very least, it didn’t matter. People go to casinos to gamble, not to smoke...Players and workers on the gaming floor must have the same protection" as everyone else in Pennsylvania.”
Casino workers are also speaking out. “In my 20 years as a dealer, I’ve seen too many of my coworkers develop serious health issues directly related to secondhand smoke,” said Borgata dealer Nicole Vitola. "I was pregnant with my son, and I was in, I had to be in a high roller room with six people smoking cigars and I had to just stand there and deal, and I did."
ABOUT AMERICANS FOR NONSMOKERS' RIGHTS
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/.