Lawan Merokok Kasino Atlantic City Menuntut Perbualan Dengan Industri Permainan

Atlantic City minggu ini menganjurkan Kongres Permainan Pantai Timur (ECGC) Tahunan ke-25 di Hard Rock.

Kasino Atlantic City merokok Hard Rock BERHENTI
Cynthia Hallett, presiden Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights, bercakap pada 22 September 2022, pada perhimpunan kasino anti-merokok di Atlantic City. Acara Keluaran SGP itu berlaku di luar Hard Rock, tempat Kongres Permainan Pantai Timur diadakan. (Imej: AP )
Annually the largest domestic gathering of gaming industry professionals outside of Nevada, the ECGC brings leaders from the industry and government together to discuss policy and ideas. An array of topics were considered during the three-day conference that ends today. But one major contention among many workers was left out — indoor casino smoking.

The ECGC had originally planned to bring the two sides of the casino smoking conversation face-to-face. It would be the first time they met since a coalition of gaming employees united to oppose the resumption of indoor smoking in early July 2020. But Resorts Casino Hotel CEO Mark Giannantonio dropped out, which led to the debate’s cancellation.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy (D) temporarily suspended casino smoking amid the COVID-19 pandemic. But tobacco use on up to 25% of the gaming floors was allowed to resume following the expiration of his emergency health order.

“Casino Employees Against Smoking’s Effects” (CEASE) nonetheless made their voices heard at the ECGC yesterday. The group seeking to end the casino smoking loophole gathered outside the Hard Rock on the Boardwalk, where about 100 people rallied in the rain against ongoing casino smoke.

Conversation Needed
In the planned debate, Resorts Casino Hotel CEO Giannantonio would have defended the casinos’ stance that eliminating indoor smoking would hurt revenue. As many as 2,500 workers would pay the price with their jobs. After Giannantonio dropped out of the scheduled event a little more than a week before the conference, ECGC organizers said they could not find an industry fill-in for the Resorts boss.

The Casino Association of New Jersey (CANJ) is running and hiding,” Peter Naccarelli, a Borgata table game dealer who co-leads CEASE, told the Associated Press. “They have no logical arguments.”

The industry’s argument is based on a study it commissioned. That examination found a complete indoor smoking ban inside the nine casinos would likely push annual gaming revenue down 25% or more. Spectrum Gaming Group, which organizes the ECGC, conducted the CANJ smoking review on the industry’s behalf.

Other studies, however, have found that a smoking ban might not be so severe. Las Vegas-based C3 Gaming wrote in June that smoke-free casinos in many other states outperform their smoking counterparts in the aftermath of the pandemic.

Money Over Lives
Lamont White, another Borgata dealer, helping lead the CEASE effort, says the industry values profits over health.

“‘We’d lose money, and money is more important than casino workers’ lives.’ That’s all they have to say,” White said.

Murphy menyokong menjadikan kasino bebas asap rokok. Dia berkata dia akan menandatangani undang-undang yang menamatkan celah kasino, sekiranya ia Data HK sampai ke mejanya. Tetapi Murphy tidak membincangkan topik itu semasa ucaptama ECGC beliau semalam.

Ahli parlimen New Jersey baru-baru ini bersidang semula dari rehat musim panas mereka. Dua rang undang-undang yang akan memaksa kasino Atlantic City untuk bebas asap rokok kekal di setiap dewan perundangan. Rang Undang-undang Pengeluaran SDY Perhimpunan 2151 dan Rang Undang-undang Senat 264 masing-masing mempunyai sokongan dwipartisan tetapi telah terbiar selama beberapa bulan.