Pennsylvania, New Jersey move toward smoke-free casinos

November 16, 2023

Both states are working to pass current bills that will ban smoking and e-cigarettes in indoor casinos.

The Pennsylvania House Health Committee recently passed a bill to ban smoking in the state’s casinos, according to a WPXI Channel 11 Pittsburgh local news report.

Casino workers throughout the state have maintained that their health is at risk due to secondhand smoke exposure, prompting lawmakers to consider the ban and draft House Bill 1657.

The proposal would prohibit smoking from private clubs, casinos and bars, and includes banning the use of e-cigarettes. Under the terms of the bill, all workplace and public spaces would be added to the state’s Clean Indoor Air Act.

Pennsylvania is not the only state moving toward banning smoking in casino spaces. The New Jersey Monitor recently reported that Garden State legislators are making plans to advance a proposed bill to eliminate smoking in its casinos.

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.

Atlantic City casino workers have voiced their concerns for the past two years following the recent Covid-19 pandemic, when the temporary bans set in place were later lifted in July 2021.

After the restrictions were removed, Atlantic City casino workers pushed for permanent legislation that would prohibit smoking in casinos. Since then, New Jersey has revisited the possibility of putting permanent restrictions in place.

Garden State lawmakers told local news that “the bill would be considered in the lame-duck session before the next legislative session starts in January, but it could see amendments before reaching the floor.”

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


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