June 12, 2024 3 min read


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CEASE and UAW Ask Pennsylvania to Ban Casino Smoking

CEASE and UAW representatives gathered at the Capitol building to urge legislators to pass pro-worker bills

Casino Employees Against Smoking Effects (CEASE), an organization representing the interests of thousands of casino dealers and frontline gaming workers, has joined forces with UAW Region 9, an organization representing casino employees from Pennsylvania. The two unions urged Pennsylvania to ban indoor smoking at casinos and protect the health of people within the gambling industry.

Like many other states, Pennsylvania makes an exception when it comes to indoor smoking at casinos, allowing land-based companies to designate a portion of their gaming space as a smoking area.

However, smoke-free proponents have argued for years that this exemption exposes frontline gaming workers to unhealthy levels of tobacco smoke, jeopardizing their health and sometimes even leading to complications.

CEASE has been trying to get indoor smoking banned in Atlantic City’s casinos since 2021 despite pushback from casino interests which are wary of the potential economic impact of such a measure.

“Lawmakers Have a Responsibility to Stand with Workers”

In an attempt to convince the State of Pennsylvania to take action, CEASE and UAW representatives gathered at the Capitol building to urge legislators to pass pro-worker bills. The activists pushed for a ban on indoor smoking that would prioritize workers’ health over gambling giants’ profits.

Rep. Dan Frankel, a longtime supporter of smoke-free efforts, participated in the efforts. Jennifer Rubolino, a table games dealer at Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh and a member of Pennsylvania’s Casino Employees Against Smoking Effects addressed legislators, reminding them that they “have a responsibility to stand with workers.”

Closing the casino smoking loophole is not just a moral duty but a smart decision for the state, especially considering that 90% of guests do not smoke. We’ve seen the success of smoke-free casinos in this state, like Parx Casino, which has voluntarily operated smoke-free.

Jennifer Rubolino, dealer

Rubolino accused casino companies of “putting a price on the health of employees” and urged legislators to protect those who need it the most.

During the rally, casino employees highlighted the risks associated with secondhand smoke. Like Rubolino, many pointed to the success of Parx Casino, which remains the top casino in Pennsylvania despite banning indoor smoking a few years ago. Activits also pointed out that Parx has experienced an increase in market share and a 40% rebate on health insurance premiums thanks to the better health of its employees.

However, most companies are reluctant to take the risk. Bally’s shareholders recently struck down a smoke-free policy proposal, despite workers’ pleas.


Angel has a passion for all forms of writing, be it fiction or nonfiction. His curious nature gives him an ace up his sleeve when researching a new topic. Angel’s thirst for knowledge, paired with adaptability, always helps him find his way around.

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