Parx Says Smoking Ban Stays; AC On line casino Employees Protest For Clear Air

Smoking at casinos in Pennsylvania and past stays a fiery situation with operators, on line casino employees and non-smoking advocates. It’s such a sizzling matter {that a} panel at East Coast Gaming Congress acquired cancelled.

ECGC is being held on Sept. 22 and 23 at Arduous Rock On line casino in Atlantic Metropolis. Organizers deliberate to debate the subject of smoking at casinos on panel, “Will on line casino revenues go up in smoke when you go smoke-free” that included:

  • Mark Giannantonio, Resorts On line casino President and now head of the Atlantic Metropolis casinos’ commerce affiliation. Giannantonio strongly opposes a smoking ban.
  • Eric Hausler, CEO of Greenwood Racing which owns Parx On line casino. Parx On line casino in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, is now voluntarily smoke-free.
  • Cynthia Hallett, president and CEO of People for Nonsmokers’ Rights Basis.

Smoking panel cancelled at playing convention

When requested why the panel was cancelled, Hallet mentioned:

“They don’t need to speak about it. Nobody needs to be on the document.”

Hallet spoke to Play Pennsylvania at ECGC about among the key factors she deliberate to debate. She pointed to Arduous Rock On line casino staff “Clear Workforce” going across the property wiping down surfaces. But they nonetheless have indoor air air pollution by permitting smoking .Hallet additionally added that solely about 12% of the US inhabitants smokes.

“Occasions have modified. The general public’s attitudes have modified. Should you construct a smoke-free on line casino individuals will come to play. That technology (that smokes) is getting older out. If you wish to carry within the youthful gamers, you not solely have to supply nice facilities, you must be smoke free. They like the joy.”

Giannantonio spoke straight to the media final week. He mentioned: 

“The On line casino Affiliation of New Jersey has been very clear in its place that an instantaneous smoking ban would have a big opposed impact on Atlantic Metropolis,” he mentioned. “We consider that extra time is required to plot and implement an answer that can tackle the issues of our staff with out jeopardizing jobs and advantages to seniors.”

The East Coast Gaming Congress shouldn’t be the one gathering of the playing trade that shall be lacking a dialogue on the problem of smoking. The World Gaming Expo in Las Vegas (Oct 10-13) will not have a panel discussing smoking at casinos. Hallett mentioned that the Nonsmokers’ Rights Basis provided to be on a panel or sponsor a panel.

On line casino employees protest smoking

On a wet Thursday afternoon, on line casino employees stood beneath a walkway outdoors of Arduous Rock On line casino in Atlantic Metropolis the place ECGC was being held.

Lamont White, a supplier at Borgata and co-leader of On line casino Workers Towards Smoking’s Results (CEASE) spoke in regards to the cancellation of the panel:

“They couldn’t discover one member in the entire casinos to say why it’s a good suggestion for us to suck secondhand smoke. What would they are saying? We perceive, we really feel unhealthy in regards to the coronary heart assaults, strokes, most cancers however we love cash. And cash is extra essential than any on line casino employees’ life.

The employees additionally demanded the New Jersey state Legislature transfer ahead on a invoice to ban on line casino smoking that has the help of over half of NJ lawmakers and Governor Phil Murphy.

“I’m begging as a result of our lives are at stake,” mentioned Hill. “All of us really feel like we’re at a recreation of Russian roulette with the casinos. They acquired their finger on the set off and sooner or later it’s gonna be one in every of our turns. I’m asking New Jersey to take your finger off the set off and get us out of the smoke.”

Employees then walked down the Atlantic Metropolis boardwalk in a gentle rain chanting “AC smoke-free.”

Appears like smoking completely gone from Parx

Eric Hausler, CEO of Greenwood Racing, which owns Pennsylvania’s smoke-free Parx On line casino, spoke at a distinct panel on Thursday afternoon and the subject of smoking was within the air.

“To this point so good. It’s been over two years. Our staff adore it and have been very grateful for it. Should you have a look at our market share numbers they’ve held up simply high quality and enterprise does effectively. We survey our clients and there are as many purchasers that say they like smoking as people who don’t. However we attempt to make it straightforward for who do choose to smoke.”

When requested if eliminating smoking on the on line casino was an experiment or everlasting, Hausler answered:

“As soon as you’re previous two years, I don’t see why we’d return. Our clients and crew members have gotten used to it.”

Hallett has been engaged on smoke-free points for over thirty years and mentioned it’s widespread that tendencies often begin with small companies or cities going smoke-free. Then it’s adopted by others whether it is profitable. Nevertheless, in Pennsylvania, the land-based market chief, Parx, took the lead when it got here to eliminating smoking.

“People who smoke will go into smoke-free companies as a result of it’s cleaner and smells higher. In Pennsylvania, with the Parx expertise, they offer others the boldness to think about it.”

Casinos in Pennsylvania that do and don’t enable smoking

Parx On line casino has gone fully smoke-free since Pennsylvania lifted necessary indoor masking orders. There may be an outside, coated smoking patio.

Regardless of new competitors and the launch of on-line casinos, Parx On line casino remains to be the best grossing on line casino in Pennsylvania. The on line casino has maintained a regular market share for slot and desk recreation income by means of the years. Parx has gone fully smoke-free since Pennsylvania lifted necessary indoor masking orders.

Parx plans to open a mini-casino in Shippensburg in early 2023 which may also be smoke-free.

Rivers On line casino Philadelphia has additionally determined to proceed its post-COVID smoking ban. Representatives for Rivers On line casino Philadelphia instructed Play Pennsylvania in an announcement:

“When the Metropolis of Philadelphia ended its COVID smoking ban, Rivers On line casino Philadelphia elected to briefly proceed the ban that had already been in place. An out of doors patio has been designated for people who smoke, and friends have complied with out situation. Rivers On line casino Philadelphia continues to observe suggestions.”

Mount Ethereal On line casino first introduced it banned smoking in August 2021 through an announcement on their Fb web page.Nevertheless, the on line casino reversed course and introduced again smoking on the on line casino in March 2022.

All different casinos in PA enable smoking.

Underneath Pennsylvania’s Clear Indoor Air Act, casinos are one of many few locations, together with non-public golf equipment and cigar bars, that enable indoor smoking. Smoking areas cannot exceed 50% of sq. toes of the gaming ground.

Photograph of Lamont Hill by Katie Kohler

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