October 5, 2023 3 min read


New Jersey Casino Workers Optimistic About Smoke-Free Future

Casino Employees Against Smoking’s Effects (CEASE), a group formed just two years ago, is leading the charge for this ban

Lawmakers in New Jersey are considering a smoking ban in Atlantic City’s casinos, and casino employees are hopeful that this change could become a reality later this year. 

CEASE Advocates for Smoke-Free Casinos Across States

Pete Naccarelli, a co-founder of CEASE, expressed confidence in the ongoing discussions with politicians in a statement for CDC Gaming Reports. Naccarelli mentioned that at present, 83 out of 120 members of the New Jersey General Assembly and Senate are in favor of bills aimed at removing the provision permitting smoking in casinos. However, he noted that despite this backing, the bills have not yet been presented for a vote.

The movement for smoke-free casinos is not limited to New Jersey alone. CEASE has expanded its reach to eight states, including Nevada, where a similar bill is under consideration. The organization’s efforts have gained momentum, with a formal committee hearing held on a bill to ban smoking in Pennsylvania casinos earlier this summer.

Meanwhile, in August, CEASE commended Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Resort Casino for their decision to maintain a smoke-free environment on their casino floors. CEASE praised the move as evidence that smoking bans do not negatively impact casino profits. However, this stance faced opposition from Spectrum Gaming Group, which suggested that smokers might avoid casinos without smoking areas. Meanwhile, casinos in New Jersey disputed these claims, arguing that online gaming, not smoking bans, influenced their revenues.

Jennifer Rubolino, a table-game dealer at Rivers Pittsburgh, shared her experience, describing the smoke as “overwhelming.” She pointed out that the smoke not only affects employees but also seeps into non-smoking areas, causing health concerns for everyone. 

CEASE Hopes to Inspire Nationwide Movement for Clean Air in Casinos

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have long advocated for the elimination of smoking in public spaces, highlighting the health risks associated with secondhand smoke. CEASE members argue that the exemption of casino floors from clean-indoor laws contradicts the principles of a safe work environment.

CEASE’s push for a smoke-free environment has gained traction, with several tribal and commercial casinos voluntarily going smoke-free since the COVID-19 pandemic. Parx in Philadelphia, a leading casino in Pennsylvania, is one such example where the ban has not affected revenue negatively. Lamont White, another co-founder of CEASE, clarified that their protests are not against the casinos themselves but against state laws forcing workers and customers to endure smoke exposure.

White dismissed claims made by opponents, labeling them as outdated and unsubstantiated. CEASE members believe that by pushing for this change in Atlantic City, they can inspire other states to follow suit, ultimately creating a healthier and more comfortable environment for casino employees nationwide.


Silvia has dabbled in all sorts of writing – from content writing for social media to movie scripts. She has a Bachelor's in Screenwriting and experience in marketing and producing documentary films. With her background as a customer support agent within the gambling industry, she brings valuable insight to the Gambling News writers’ team.

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