The hopes of snuffing out cigars on gaming floors in Atlantic City should not be misconstrued as a precursor to Nevada casinos’ own extinguishing of the smoke, warns the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The Silver State should not immediately hope to follow the path to abolition, though, as the smoking ban was lifted in 2021, and even among non-smoking casino workers, there is still opposition to the suggestion, mostly caused by a fear of economic consequences.
Even the massive efforts of organizations in New Jersey have not yielded much in the way of results just yet, though. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, remains bullish on introducing a ban that prohibits smoking on casino floors once and for all, providing there is a bill to sign.
Lawmakers are of similar mind, but few have actually acted, perhaps heeding the worries of The Casino Association of New Jersey which has warned lawmakers that recovery has not been completed and banning smoking would be tied to a reduction in the overall revenue and number of visitors.
Nevada Nowhere Near Discussing Smoking Ban
Nevada paints a different story, however. Efforts to curb indoor smoking in casinos are not so much a taboo, as they just lack genuine interest. Some casinos in the Silver State have tinkered with the idea of rolling out voluntary bans and have done so. The numbers are also interesting when you consider how people in the sector feel.
Companies seem to be more open to progressive policies, but employees are still somewhat divided. While 90% do not smoke, only 61% support the ban in casinos. However, the other 39% do not support the ban, which is odd, even though many of them are non-smokers. This could be explained by fears of economic uncertainty if smokers are chased away – or so a common fear goes.
The division between casino workers makes it harder for lawmakers and companies to pick a side, fearing that those who oppose a smoking ban would rile against a smoke-free decision. Culinary Local 226, the union that represents casino workers in the Nevada casino industry, is following the developments.
Union secretary-treasurer Ted Pappageorge is cautious about forcing the issue as well. He notes that support for a ban is gathering momentum but it’s not yet there. Meanwhile, Pappageorge is following the developments in the sister union in New Jersey, which seems to be of the same mind but is faced with the opposition of some properties – for now.