Smoking is never good for your wellbeing, but the Americans for Nonsmokers Rights (ANRF) are telling the gambling industry that if Covid-transmission is a possibility, it makes the position worse. Bill Miller, CEO and President of the American Gaming Association (AGA), has been approached by CEO and President Cynthia Hallett, asking him to join her campaign to end smoking in American casinos.
She asks Miller to join her call in the two-page text, pushing casinos to reject taxpayer dollars if they are not smoke-free. In the letter, she praises the no-smoking policy of Park MGM, the first in Las Vegas, and notes that despite a lack of smoking, over 1,000 casinos continue to do just fine.
A written letter said: “In states with permanent smoke-free policies, such as Maryland and Ohio, the industry is experiencing year-over-year revenue increases, despite operating at reduced capacity.”
In fact, the ANFR maintains a running list of all non-smoking casinos in the region. On the web, they explicitly call out the leadership of Tribal Casinos, which have reopened “many casinos as smokefree venues for the safety and well-being of staff and customers.”
She wrote to Miller that the proof is obvious, so the move will not affect the industry now: “Casinos in states that were forced to abide by a state-imposed, temporary smoke-free policy in order to reopen, such as Pennsylvania, have seen revenues remain relatively stable compared to the previous year, especially considering they have been operating at significantly reduced capacity, and the smoke-free policy has helped to keep 99 percent of gaming employees COVID-free.”
The AGA, which can not do anything to assist Hallett other than enter her lobbying campaign, declined via a spokesperson to comment on the letter.
Hallet, who’s Twitter bio comments that she hates “secondhand smoke,” may not directly get much from the letter, but the winds have shifted in her favour obviously. As a result of Covid-19, the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas has further prohibited smoking, and Pennsylvania also seems to be heading toward further limiting the bad habit in casinos. With the majority of casino customers seeking an end to the practise and the apparent risk of removing a mask for a drag in 2020, for a few people it might be the end of chain smoking at the slot machine.