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Pennsylvania Lawmaker Introduces Legislation To Make Casinos Smoke-Free

Bill Would Expand The Clean Indoor Air Act Into Areas That Were Previously Exempt

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A bill introduced in the Pennsylvania legislature would end smoking in the state’s 13 casinos and racinos.

Democrat Dan Frankel introduced HB 2298 last week, which would seek to expand the Clean Indoor Air Act into casinos, bars, and private clubs. The expansion of that bill would effectively ban smoking in those locations.

The bill would also prohibit using e-cigarettes in those establishments.

The Clean Indoor Air Act was passed in 2008. With a few exceptions, it banned smoking in public places.

“Pennsylvania should not have to choose between a job at the casino or a trip to a sporting event and their family’s health,” said Frankel in the bill’s memorandum. “With these changes, Pennsylvania will join 39 states that do not preempt local governments from adopting more stringent, smoke-free rules for the health and safety of their residents.”

According to the Pittsburgh Business Journal, Sen. Jay Costa will introduce a similar bill in the senate.

Nonsmoking casinos have been tried in the past and have failed for the most part.

The former Revel Atlantic City decided to make its entire property smoke-free and the $2.4 billion casino resort closed its doors in 2014 after operating for less than two years. Every other Atlantic City casino allowed smoking on its casino floors.

Several casinos throughout the country have compromised and have added non-smoking gaming areas to their properties. In Nevada, arguably the biggest gaming market in the U.S. only has one casino completely smoke-free. The Nugget, a tiny casino located 35 minutes east of Reno, is a nonsmoking property.