A Tobacco Control Policy & Legal Resource Center
Supporting Smokefree Air & Tobacco-Free Lives

Public Support

Over 25% of people surveyed go to casinos for non-gaming activities. Read the NJ.com article U.S. casinos slowly coming back from recession woes which discusses gaming revenue around the country. The smokefree gaming states Maryland, New York, Florida and Illinois all enjoyed increased revenue in 2011 compared to 2010.

stp_new_button Read an October 4, 2013 editorial supporting smokefree gaming from the Philadelphia Inquirer. The author cites a study by the University of California, San Francisco which found ambulance calls dropped by 19% for the two-dozen Colorado casinos after they went smokefree.

Read the January 28, 2013 article in support of Washington state tribal casinos going smokefree.

Philadelphia Inquirer Columnist, Monica Yant Kinney, wrote four columns in support of her concerns with smoking in the casinos:

  • “Smokefree a Smart Gamble” (June 6, 2010) Excerpt: “Eighty percent of the population doesn’t smoke, so why not cater to the majority? …Isn’t that a better business model?”, states a gambler.
  • “Job Opportunities with a Cloudy Future” (May 26, 2010). Excerpt: “I’d like to see Donald Trump sit in his office and have six people blow smoke at him for eight hours a day, five days a week,” challenges Karen Blumenfeld, of Global Advisors on Smokefree Policy, an advocacy group aptly nicknamed GASP. “Let’s do a test, see how long he lasts. I guarantee he’d ban smoking in his casinos after one day.”
  • “Is the Fix in for Casino Smoking?” (May 16, 2010) Excerpt: “Curious about the dramatic stats, State Rep. Curt Schroder (R., Chester), the minority chair of the Gaming Oversight Committee, paid a reconnaissance visit to Harrah’s in Chester. He found higher-stakes roulette and blackjack machines exclusively for smokers – some betting $15 a hand. Lower-stake slots permeated the smoke-free zone. “This,” Schroder wrote casino operators, “causes me to ask whether, in fact, machines were arranged on your floor to guarantee an outcome that would allow you to request a larger smoking area.”
  • “Casinos and Regulators Blind to Smoking Rules” (May 12, 2010) Excerpt: “A Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board spokesman contends that enforcing the clean-air law in casinos falls to the Department of Health. The Health Department insists that task belongs to the gaming board.”

Read the NJ Star-Ledger’s October 21, 2009 editorial in support of 100% smokefree casinos in Atlantic City.

In September, 2008, The Atlantic City Convention and Visitors Authority released their 2008 Atlantic City Visitors Profile Study. Click here to read the Executive Summary. Click here for the full report. Key findings are:

  • Nonsmokers spend more money in Atlantic City than smokers based on a median amount ($500 for nonsmoker vs. $469 for smoker).
  • Only approximately 23% of gamblers smoke, which is in-line with other surveys done in Nevada and Australia, and in-line with the percentage of the adult population that smoke in general. The casinos have claimed much higher numbers, but that claim is not consistent with the results of the ACCVA survey.
  • A nonsmoking environment ranked 4th for reasons to visit Atlantic City. Gambling ranked lower at 7th.

New Jersey voters overwhelmingly support smokefree casinos (autumn 2007, Monmouth University Polling Institute):

Support for smokefree New Jersey casinos by potential patrons, survey by ICR (international market research organization):

Read the descriptions of poor air-quality conditions documented from casino workers and patrons in many letters sent to NJ key legislators; go to www.smokefree.net/nj and click on “see letters already sent”.

7,000 petition signatures for smokefree casinos are on www.smokefreecasinos.com.

80% of regular gamblers want smokefree gaming; 5% increase in patronage is indicated (2006 survey of 3,000 Australians):

On February 15, 2007, syndicated columnist Steve Adubato, Ph.d, wrote a column to support 100% smokefree gaming floors, subsquent to Atlantic City’s City Council passing their ordinance that permits smoking on up to 25% of the gaming floor. Click here to read, “A 75 Percent ‘Smoke Free Zone’ in Casinos?Only in New Jersey.

Resolutions by New Jersey municipal governments supporting smokefree casinos

New Jersey casino employees, assisted by Atlantic County Smoke Free Air Coalition, the American Cancer Society, and other tobacco-control and health organizations, have gone to the municipal governments where they live and asked them to enact resolutions supporting protection for all workers in the state of New Jersey from the hazards of secondhand smoke, particularly calling on the State Legislature to require casinos to be smokefree. By early November, 2006, after only a few weeks of requests to town councils, seven municipalities had already enacted resolutions. All of the resolutions, including the one passed by the Atlantic City Council, were enacted with unanimous votes.

Population data

Hospitality Industry

The hospitality industry is voluntarily embracing 100% smokefree properties. Click here for the November 18, 2008 USA today article on the trend for 100% smokefree hotels and resorts.

Click here for a July 2006 survey by JD Power and Associates, which found that 79 percent of 46,000 hotel guests surveyed prefer a smoke-free environment beyond their guest room.

Other sources for information on smokefree gaming

Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights: click here to see their section on casinos and gambling

www.smokefreecasinos.com, Atlantic County, created by activists and casino workers and patrons, has information and an on-line petition (No longer updated since Atlantic City’s casinos go smokefree on October 15, 2008.)

www.smokefreegaming.org a grass-roots coalition of Colorado residents and workers

To communicate your support for 100% smokefree casinos:

To write a letter to be faxed to key New Jersey state legislators, go to www.smokefree.net/nj.

To find your legislators, use your local library or go to www.njleg.state.nj.us, in the left hand column, under members, click on “find your legislator”.

To thank the Atlantic City Council and Mayor Langford for the smokefree casino ordinance that took effect on October 15, 2008 and to proclaim your displeasure with taking the ordinance away:

  • you can write a letter online, that will be faxed to the Atlantic City Council President Marsh, at www.smokefree.net/ac.
  • you can contact Council President William Marsh at City Hall, 1301 Bacharach Blvd., Atlantic City, NJ 08401; fax 609 347-9476; phone 609 347-5257; email, wmarsh@cityofatlanticcity.org.