Gov. Holcomb’s Guidance on Smokefree Casinos Falls Short in Keeping Gaming Employees Safe

November 17, 2020


Bronson Frick, director of advocacy for Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights, released the following statement:

“While we applaud Governor Holcomb and the Indiana Gaming Commission for taking steps towards creating a smokefree indoor environment at Hoosier State casinos, the guidance falls short of establishing commonsense measures to protect the health of gaming employees and guests. Any indoor smoking sections pose needless risks. Instead, Indiana should follow the leads of its neighboring states of Illinois, Michigan and Ohio in creating a 100% smokefree indoor environment at casinos.

“States with 100% smokefree policies have maintained stable casino revenues and kept 99% of gaming employees COVID-free. Guests are looking for safe entertainment experiences during this pandemic, and smokefree air will only boost visitation. After all, even in normal times, 75% of American adults prefer smokefree casinos.

“While the state guidelines fall short, each casino can decide to protect their employees and guests by adopting a 100% smokefree policy immediately.”

Some Indiana casinos, such as French Lick Casino and sovereign Four Winds Casino, have already implemented 100% smokefree policies as part of their reopening. The new Hard Rocksino in Terre Haute also announced that it will be smokefree.

More and more casinos nationwide are going smokefree. At least 135 sovereign Tribal gaming venues have implemented 100% smokefree policies during COVID-19, and today, nearly 1,000 gaming properties do not permit smoking indoors.