Berkeley, CA – The Arizona Republic reported that Gila River Resorts & Casinos’ Santan Mountain casino will open smokefree next month, continuing the trend of casinos going smokefree and protecting their employees and guests from dangerous secondhand smoke. The newspaper reported that, “Unlike most casinos, this one has large-scale windows and natural light, and will not allow smoking inside, which is the policy for Gila River Resorts & Casinos, Katsnelson said. Smoking can only happen in designated outdoor areas.” In response, Cynthia Hallett, president and CEO of Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights, released the following statement: “We applaud Gila River Indian Community for opening its newest casino as a smokefree property, building on the trend of casinos nationwide operating smokefree – and thriving. This is a commonsense decision that protects employees and guests from the dangerous health effects of secondhand smoke. We encourage other casinos to follow their lead and make the same decision, because it’s good for health and good for business, too.” Background More and more casinos nationwide are going smokefree, including Park MGM on the Las Vegas Strip. At least 160 sovereign Tribal gaming venues have implemented 100% smokefree policies during COVID-19, 20 states require commercial casinos to be smokefree indoors, and more than 1,000 gaming properties do not permit smoking indoors. A report by Las Vegas-based C3 Gaming found that casinos without indoor smoking outperform their smoking counterparts. “Data from multiple jurisdictions clearly indicates that banning smoking no longer causes a dramatic drop in gaming revenue. In fact, non-smoking properties appear to be performing better than their counterparts that continue to allow smoking.” A new study published last month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that found adult cigarette smoking rates in the U.S. dropped to an all-time low, with only 1 in 9 adults saying they were current smokers. Another report from the CDC Office on Smoking and Health examined air quality in Las Vegas casinos. The report, entitled “What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Your Lungs,” evaluated particulate matter – an indicator for secondhand smoke – in casinos that are smokefree indoors, and compared the results to casinos that allow smoking. They affirmed that prohibiting smoking throughout the entirety of a casino is the only way to prevent the harms of secondhand smoke.
June 1, 2023 10:43 AM