New Jersey and union push back against Atlantic City anti-smoking lawsuit

April 30, 2024
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They have asked a judge to dismiss the suit, citing potential risk for job losses.

Casino workers from the Local 54 of the Unite Here union and New Jersey’s attorney general have requested for a state judge to dismiss a recent lawsuit aimed at banning smoking in Atlantic City’s casinos, according to an Associated Press report.

The United Auto Workers, a union that represents Bally’s Tropicana and Caesars casino dealers, filed the lawsuit earlier this month as an attempt to overturn the current law on the books that allows smoking inside Atlantic City’s nine casinos.

According to a motion filed in state Superior Court, Local 54 said a smoking ban could create significant job losses. The group claims that nearly a third of its 10,000 members “would be at risk of losing their jobs and the means to support their families if smoking were banned.”

Indoor smoking has been banned in New Jersey since 2006. However, the current laws on the books make room for smoking in casinos and in simulcasting facilities, an allowance casino employees have pushed back against for more than three years.

Currently, smoking is allowed in Atlantic City’s casinos on 25% of the gaming floor. These spaces are not designed to contain smoke, causing it to waft into other areas of the casino.

New Jersey first revisited a possible casino-wide smoking ban after temporary bans during the Covid-19 pandemic were lifted in July 2021.

Following the decision to remove temporary bans, Atlantic City casino workers asked for permanent legislation that would prohibit smoking in casinos statewide. For the past three years, workers have voiced health concerns due to the lifted bans.


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