Nevada casino workers remain divided over possible smoking ban

March 6, 2023
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A recent survey showed that more than one third of employees do not support smoke-free casinos.

While efforts to legislate a smoking ban in New Jersey’s casinos are gaining traction in the Garden State, similar laws taking hold in Nevada are less likely, according to a report from the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

For the past three decades, independent casino operators throughout the state have set their own policies regarding smoking in their establishments. Several have opted to designate smoking areas within casino spaces and outdoor locations where smoking is permitted.

Other states besides Nevada have implemented outdoor facilities that allow smoking, including Maryland and Ohio.

Outdoor gambling amenities in these states offer guest swim-up gambling tables, partially enclosed spaces with plenty of open-air access and “smoking patios,” with ventilation systems in areas that are separate from the main casino floor.

However, states like New Jersey have revisited possible casino-wide smoking bans after temporary bans during the Covid-19 pandemic were lifted in July 2021.

Since the ban was lifted, Atlantic City casino works have pushed for permanent legislation that would prohibit smoking in casinos statewide.

New Jersey State Governor Phil Murphy said he will sign a nonsmoking bill if the current proposal is passed.

Culinary Local 226 secretary-treasurer Ted Pappageorge told the Review-Journal that casino works in Nevada “appear more divided” about a smoking ban in their state than New Jersey’s workers.

A survey conducted last year review that 61% of Nevada’s casino works supported banning smoking.

Pappageorge said: “We’re going to represent our members and what our members want.

“That number is moving, of our members supporting a ban, but even amongst members it’s not an overwhelming support yet.”

He noted, however, that the union is keeping “a close eye” on what is happening with New Jersey’s laws.


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