By Joy Hamm
In Atlantic City, the biggest U.S. gambling market outside of Nevada, an employee-led push to ban smoking on casino floors has gathered momentum and clout, representing a potentially critical moment for the industry nationwide.
“A lot of eyes are on Atlantic City,” Cynthia Hallett, president and chief executive of Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights, a nonprofit that over four decades has pressed for smoke-free casinos, airplanes and bars, told the New York Times.
Twenty states, including New York and Massachusetts, already ban smoking in casinos, as have many Native American-run gambling hubs.
Even in states that allow smoking, like Pennsylvania, some leading casino operators have opted to remain smoke-free since the coronavirus pandemic, leaving Atlantic City as the last large refuge for smokers in the Northeast.