The fight for a smoke-free casino industry in Atlantic City, as employees battle to see a vote on legislation while NJ casinos try to avoid the change. Casino operators feel that a smoking ban will cut down on player traffic and hurt jobs as well as revenues. Employees say that casinos will be fine and want to work in a healthier environment. Americans for Nonsmokers Rights (ANR) has decided to take its mission to a new location by adding a large billboard to the Atlantic City Expressway. The billboard can be seen by anyone traveling along the main artery and is yet another way to push the anti-smoking agenda.
Americans for Nonsmokers Rights Adds Billboard to Atlantic City Expressway
- • Casino employees want a vote on smoking ban legislation.
- • Advertising efforts are being made to push legislators to vote on the subject.
- • Rallies and meetings showcase the desire of employees for a smoke-free environment.
Sending a Message to State Legislators
Atlantic City casinosANR decided to purchase a billboard on the Expressway to showcase its effort in making Atlantic City casinos smoke-free. The goal is to send a message to legislators so a vote will take place on smoke ban legislation. Currently, bills are on the table but are not being considered by lawmakers.
The billboard thanks legislators in South Jersey for supporting smoke-free casinos. The ad also sends a message to New Jersey Senate President Nicholas Scutari and Speaker Craig Coughlin, telling them to vote on the matter.
Cynthia Hallet, the ANR CEO and President commented that thousands of casino employees in Atlantic City deserve a vote now to protect their health. They are waiting for the speaker and senate president to hold that vote.
Hallet pointed out in her statement that a bipartisan majority of lawmakers in New Jersey support the bills as cosponsors. The ANJ feels that the legislation would pass immediately if a vote were to be held. Casino employees and supporters of the legislation have visited committee meetings within the past few months to fight for a smoke-free work environment.
Support for Anti-Smoking
The billboard went up on the Expressway as Atlantic City began to host the East Coast Gaming Congress. Individuals attending the Congress are sure to see it and discuss the matter as they attend the event. Shareholders continue to talk about the pros and cons of smoking, but legislators are showing no signs of doing anything to try and create a healthier environment for workers.
ANR says that the smoking ban legislation has support from several organizations, including:
- American Cancer Society
- American Lung Association
- American Heart Association
- Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
- National Council on Problem Gambling
- Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
It is important to note that all these organizations are connected to individuals' mental or physical health. We all know that smoking is bad for you, and employees of Atlantic City casinos are tired of paying both physically and mentally for the smoking needs of patrons.
On top of support from these organizations and employees, ANJ says that New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy is also on board. According to the advocacy group, Murphy is prepared to sign the legislation if it makes it to his desk.
Will Smoking Be Banned?
The anti-smoking groups have a good point regarding a smoking ban. Casinos feel that a ban would hurt their bottom line as traffic would decrease, resulting in a loss of jobs. Proponents of a smoking ban point out that when smoking was banned temporarily during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was no problem with player visitation.
Many casinos across the United States have gone smoke-free indoors and offer a smoking area in another section of the property. The same thing could be done in New Jersey, and it would solve the employee health issues and still give smokers a spot to visit if they want to light up.
It will be interesting to see how the debate continues and if any major changes will occur.
Having started in 2005 as an online writer, Sadonna has focused on the online gambling industry, with a keen knowledge of various subjects. Sadonna has followed the growing US-based gambling industry for decades, covering all the legal changes in the nation as well as information on land-based and online casinos. She enjoys updating fellow gamblers on new games, casino bonuses, and additional information for premium gaming services. In her spare time, Sadonna loves spending time with her family and singing on Smule. Sadonna hopes to continue working in the online gambling industry and building quality articles for players to learn more about the US market.