Missouri joined forces with a small number of US states regarding smoking in its casinos, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
The state already has an indoor smoking ban, but casinos are exempt from that rule.
St. Louis County is most likely to become the first county in the state to implement the non-smoking measure, as the local news reports. If the ban passes the County Council, the indoor smoking bank will also include casino facilities!
Since 2011, the indoor smoking ban is countywide in effect, but casinos are excluded from the measures and St. Louis County Health Department Director, Dr. Kanika Cunningham spoke up. He says that casino guests are exposed to health risks and that this measure, which does not include casinos, “poses a serious health threat to customers and employers.”
“Even if there are partial smoking restrictions, there’s no way to allow for smoke-free air,” he said at a council committee meeting. “Even with the current ventilation systems, it can reduce the odor but it still does not reduce the level of hazardous exposure.”
Hollywood Casino in Maryland Heights Vice President and General Manager Michael Jerlecki also expressed concerns regarding the same problem, but he claims that a smoking bank in Louis County can seriously harm the local economy.
These are his words: “A total smoking ban that only applies to casinos in St. Louis County would place us at a considerable competitive disadvantage to nearby casinos in Missouri, risk hundreds of good-paying jobs, and substantially impact the tax revenue and significant economic activity our properties generate.”
What do other states say about this?
Other states, such as New Jersey, are also considering smoking banks for casinos. During the Covid-19 pandemic, temporary bans were lifted in July 2021, but now the question of a complete ban is being raised!
Even Atlantic City casino workers are in favor of permanent legislation on this problem, mostly for health reasons, and they hope that smoking in casinos will be completely prohibited.
Nevada, on the other hand, most likely will not accept this measure, according to a report from the well-respected Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Over the past three decades, independent casino operators across the state have established their own policies regarding smoking in their facilities. Some of them decided to designate smoking areas within the casino itself as well as outside areas where smoking is allowed.
Besides Nevada, other states have introduced outdoor smoking facilities such as Maryland and Ohio.
What is your position regarding this issue? Write to us in the comments!
”Missouri’s St. Louis County to consider indoor smoking ban for its casinos”, gamingamerica.com, 03.05. 2023.
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