Smokefree Policies in PA, NJ Casinos Help Keep Nearly All Workers COVID-Free

Casinos Also Experience Year-Over-Year Revenue Increases, Despite Industry Fears That Smokefree Would Hurt Business

November 10, 2020


Bronson Frick, director of advocacy of Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights, released the following statement after news reports showed low rates of COVID among gaming employees and year-over-year revenue increases for Pennsylvania and New Jersey casinos:

“Since Pennsylvania and New Jersey casinos re-opened smokefree in recent months, 99 percent of gaming employees have remained COVID-free. This rate was likely made possible by mask requirements and reopening smokefree, which prevents the spread of respiratory droplets when one exhales secondhand smoke or vape. Not only is smokefree good for employees’ health — and not just during a pandemic — but it also reassures guests who want to get out of the house and enjoy the unique entertainment experience casinos offer without risking their health.

“As revenue numbers in these states have increased, even as we’re in the midst of a devastating economic recession, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for casinos to claim smokefree hurts their bottom line. We urge all gaming operators to make the smokefree policy permanent. After all, if it can work during COVID, then it can also work when this pandemic is finally behind us.”

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