For casino operators, providers feel that losing the right to offer smoking will affect their bottom line. For months now, casinos have stated that revenues will dip considerably if smoking is not allowed. They say it would also cause job losses, something the locals cannot afford.
It is important to note that once the COVID-19 pandemic was in full swing within the United States and casinos had reopened, smoking was not allowed. This includes New Jersey venues. The casinos could still see traffic, and the smoking ban did not seem to be a big deal. It is especially important to consider that this was an unsafe time in the US when the virus rapidly spread. Players were still willing to come to casinos, smoking or not.
Proponents of the smoking ban point this out and reiterate the fact that casinos were able to remain in business during COVID-19 highs and still see visitors despite not smoking. This fact does not seem to be enough to appease casino operators.
Unite Here Local 54, the local casino and hotel employees union in New Jersey saw its president recently commit on the matter. President Bob McDevitt spoke to local news outlets stating that New Jersey needs to wait until neighboring Pennsylvania bans smoking in casinos before the state moves forward.
For now, the issue seems to be somewhat tabled. It is unclear what steps CEASE will try to take next if its outreach to the Governor is not fruitful. Casino employees are hopeful that legislators will move the legislation to committee and vote on it to see if the measure can move forward.
It will be interesting to see in the coming days if the legislation makes any movement or if the smoking issue will continue to be a problem in the state.