Pennsylvania Casinos Anti-Smoking Bill Gets Public Support

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Article by : Helen Sep 3, 2020

The Pennsylvania Legislature heeded the public’s call and introduced a new bill to ban smoking in public gaming establishments. According to the bill proposed by Rep. Dan Frankel, recent amendments to the Clean Indoor Air Act of Pennsylvania have a primary goal of banning casino operators from smoking in gambling halls.

Law-in-draft 2298 should be a critical addition to the previous law, which set out exact requirements for game operators, bars, and nightclubs. Initially, land-based casinos should establish rules that smoking is allowed only in 25% of the gambling hall’s total area. The casinos also received preferences to require a change in the area that was allocated to smoking players. Such changes could take effect if the income from slot machines or board games in the smoking area were significantly higher than 75% of the gaming hall size.

It seems that in this case, the coronavirus was also able to affect the activities of the casino unwittingly. The use of face masks has become mandatory in all gambling establishments throughout the United States. Some states have also mandated their residents to use face masks in all public places to minimize public health risks.

On the other hand, smoking is also a health risk for second-hand smokers. Therefore, the introduction of a permanent ban on smoking in public places is quite a logical step. Believe it or not, more than 40,000 people die each year from second-hand smoke in the United States. It seems that once the US can combat the effects of Covid-19, lifting restrictions on smokers will look quite silly.

According to one of the Breathe Free Pennsylvania Coalition members, players often have to inhale smoke while placing a few bets on the slot machines or at the poker table. The bulk of people who do not have an addiction should not suffer because of other visitors, who can decide to dispose of their health. There is no escaping the impression that the law is in the right place at the right time. A recent survey of Las Vegas gambling visitors showed that 72% of respondents favor banning or restricting smokers in gambling halls. Visitors must independently decide whether to visit a place where smoking is allowed or choose a casino that has banned smoking in gambling halls.

The Clean Air Bill was passed in Pennsylvania a decade ago. Some of the casino workers are forced to stay in places where smoking is allowed to maintain benefits or a job. The daily presence in such a workplace has a more detrimental effect on people’s health. The days when casinos have successfully used various loopholes in the law are over. Moreover, strong public support is likely to facilitate the unconditional adoption of the law. According to a survey conducted by the American Heart Association, more than 71% of respondents favor a complete ban on smoking in the workplace. This applies not only to casinos, bars, or restaurants.

It’s no secret that frequent or prolonged exposure to smokers can provoke serious illnesses such as lung cancer, heart disease, stroke, etc.

Even if all casinos completely ban smoking on the territory of gambling halls, this will not protect the health of people who may face similar situations leaving the casino doors. In any case, the introduction of such bans can have a very positive effect on reducing the growth in deaths from second-hand smoke. In any case, after the law will come into force, visitors can breathe easier.


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