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Members of the Casino Employees Against Smoking Effects (CEASE) have released a video asking New Jersey lawmakers to make a complete ban on smoking in casinos by April 15.
Since 2006, New Jersey has had a law banning smoking within public spaces called the New Jersey Smoke Free Air Act.
The law effectively prohibited smoking in communal indoor places such as workplaces and in 2018, the law was expanded to include parks and beaches. However, casinos are the only spaces where smoking indoors is still allowed in the state.
This has made casino workers from the Atlantic City industry take to social media to bring immediate action. According to them, the loophole in the law is unnecessary and puts them in danger as they keep getting exposed to second-hand smoke.
“This makes us essentially the only group of workers in the state forced to choose between our health and a paycheck,” said Pete Naccarelli, a dealer at Borgata, in the video.
The group surmised the loophole is there because Atlantic City casinos believe banning indoor smoking will affect their revenue. But a study put together by casino consulting company C3 Gaming, suggested that no impact will be recorded on revenue if smoking is banned in casinos. This could be because during the pandemic, smoking within casinos was temporarily banned and it did not affect revenue.
The CEASE group expect a favourable response from the parliament as there is great support among senators in the Assembly with 70 lawmakers sponsoring the bill. Other strong support from the group is coming from popular casino gaming influencer Brian Christopher. He is an ambassador for the American Nonsmokers’ Rights (ANR) Foundation and has always called for the prohibition of indoor smoking in public spaces. In solidarity to the group, he recently announced he will no longer partner with casino floors or other gaming spaces that allow smoking.