Caesars Buying Superdome Naming Rights Shows Fears of Smokefree Policies are Unfounded
"The Caesars Superdome Will Be a Reminder...that Predictions of Doom and Gloom From Smokefree Policies Have Not Materialized"
July 23, 2021
Berkeley, CA -- Six years after New Orleans went smokefree indoors in casinos, bars, and hotels, the Louisiana legislature yesterday approved Caesars Entertainment -- which operates Harrah's New Orleans -- paying $138 million over twenty years for naming rights to the Superdome, home of the New Orleans Saints. That's on top of the $325 million upgrade to add a new hotel tower and other amenities that Caesars announced in December, despite the economic challenges wrought by the pandemic. And it comes on the heels of the company adding a music venue to the property in 2019.
"The Caesars Superdome will be a reminder that going smokefree is not a deterrent to tourism or gaming patronage -- the predictions of doom and gloom from smokefree policies have not materialized -- and we should bear this in mind in gaming markets across the country when we hear similar claims from the industry pushing back against going smokefree," said Cynthia Hallett, president and CEO of Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights. "Countless lives have been saved because of the city's smokefree ordinance, which helps to ensure the health of the vibrant cultural economy workforce. No longer are gaming employees, nor musicians performing at Caesars' music venue, forced to breathe secondhand smoke for hours on end while at work. Caesars knows how to operate smokefree casinos successfully, and its employees in every gaming market deserve this same smokefree workplace. No one should have to choose between a paycheck and their health."
In April, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell joined ANR to mark six years since she led passage of the smokefree ordinance as a city councilor. "All the things that we were told would happen...our hospitality industry would suffer. Six years later, none of that materialized," said Mayor Cantrell. "Our hospitality industry grew even stronger, with an upward of 19 million visitors to the city of New Orleans. Harrah's Casino moved forward with their plans for an expansion, even a hotel...We stood up for restaurants and bars and casinos, people who said we shouldn’t have to die to earn an honest living."
ABOUT AMERICANS FOR NONSMOKERS' RIGHTS
Americans for Nonsmokers' 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 law. 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/.