Casinos Should Not Ignore Indoor Smoking as They Examine Responsible Gaming Best Practices
Responsible Gaming Education Month Begins Today
“A Critical Component of Responsible Gambling is Taking Periodic Breaks. Smokers Who Must Step Outside to Smoke Take a Responsible Break.”
Berkeley, CA — With Responsible Gaming Education Month beginning today, the gaming industry should factor into their responsible gaming best practices the impact of allowing indoor smoking at too many casinos across the country, says Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights. Allowing indoor smoking discourages smokers who gamble from taking breaks, one of the key tenets of responsible gaming.
“We’ll be hearing a lot about responsible gaming over the next month, but unfortunately the continuation of indoor smoking will likely be missing from the gaming industry’s conversation,” said Cynthia Hallett, President and CEO of Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights. “A critical component of responsible gambling is taking periodic breaks. Smokers who must step outside to smoke take a responsible break. Casinos should encourage these breaks as part of their responsible gaming efforts. Responsible gaming best practices that omit ending indoor smoking are incomplete and harmful to players.”
The leading organization dealing with gambling addiction has warned legislators that continuing to allow indoor smoking at Atlantic City casinos will only continue to encourage gambling addiction, but that passing bipartisan bills, S264 and A2151, to close the casino smoking loophole would help to address this concern.
“Making casinos smokefree is likely to reduce the incidence of problem gambling and improve public health,” wrote the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) in separate letters to members of the New Jersey Senate and General Assembly.
Further, Las Vegas-based C3 Gaming released a report last year showing that casinos have unwittingly acknowledged that allowing indoor smoking only furthers gambling addiction. From the C3 Gaming report:
“Casinos throughout North America have made commitments to support responsible gambling initiatives. Virtually all operators have links to websites that provide additional information regarding playing responsibly. A recent study commissioned by the Casino Association of New Jersey projects gaming revenue losses based on smokers having to take breaks, which is the antithesis of one of the principles of responsible gaming…What the authors of that report unwittingly acknowledge is that a casino that prohibits smoking risks losing gaming revenue because a certain portion of players who smoke decide during their smoke break to walk away. In other words, they chose to play responsibly, and taking a periodic smoking break allowed them to do so. Their argument that a casino will make more money if smokers remain at their games is the antithesis of one of the principles of responsible gaming.”
Next month, Global Gaming Expo (G2E) 2023 will feature a panel discussion on smoking and casinos for the first time. The session, “A Discussion: Smoking & Casinos,” will be held on Wednesday, October 11 at 2:00pm and feature Andrew Klebanow, C3 Gaming; Traci Kennedy, Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights; Marc Oppenheimer, Greenwood Gaming & Entertainment (owner of Parx Casino); and Brian Christopher, BCSlots.
ABOUT AMERICANS FOR NONSMOKERS’ RIGHTS
Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights (ANR) is a member-supported, non-profit advocacy group that has been working for over 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://nonsmokersrights.org and https://smokefreecasinos.org.