Table games dealer Nicole Vitola waited nearly 20 years to breathe easier while working at Borgata casino in Atlantic City. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit three years ago and smoking indoors was temporarily banned, she no longer saw large clouds of smoke but a casino filled with players.
“In my eyes, there was no way they’d bring back smoking,” Vitola said.
But the indoor smoking ban was lifted in July 2021.
Vitola and her colleagues now lead an employee-run effort called Casino Employees Against Smoking Effects to close a loophole in New Jersey’s Smoke-Free Air Act from 2006 that exempts casinos. The group’s bill to ban smoking inside casinos has more than 24 co-sponsors, and another hearing before a state Assembly panel is scheduled Thursday.