November 8, 2023 3 min read


Pennsylvania Moves Closer to a Smoke-Free Casinos

A proposed bill challenges the existing loopholes in the Clean Indoor Air Act of 2008, which allowed smoking indoors in specific establishments, including Pennsylvania casinos

In a move towards a healthier environment in Pennsylvania’s casinos, Allegheny County Democratic Rep. Dan Frankel is making strides to ban indoor smoking within the state’s gambling establishments. Frankel, also the majority chair of the health committee, is leading the charge with House Bill 1657, known as the Protecting Workers from Secondhand Smoke Act

Pennsylvania’s Smoking Ban Bill Advances to Crucial Health Committee Meeting

Scheduled for a vote on November 15, the bill aims to eliminate smoking inside casinos, creating a cleaner and safer atmosphere for both employees and patrons. The proposed legislation has already completed the initial stages, with Frankel actively garnering support from colleagues to co-sponsor the bill and successfully navigating it through committee discussions.

The health committee meeting, slated for next week, will mark the crucial fourth step in the process. At the meeting, 25 committee members, comprising 14 Democrats and 11 Republicans, will have the opportunity to offer amendments to the bill, which will be voted on individually. 

Frankel expressed confidence that the bill would receive an affirmative vote and bipartisan support, emphasizing that he does not bring a bill forward without certainty of its success, reported PlayPennsylvania.

While the timeline for the bill’s progress remains uncertain, Frankel is optimistic about its prospects. He hopes to see the bill on Gov. Josh Shapiro‘s desk for approval by March or April, a move that would mark the final step in the process. Frankel expressed confidence in Shapiro’s support for the legislation, underscoring the importance of prioritizing public health and safety in Pennsylvania’s thriving casino industry.

Parx Casino Paves the Way for Healthier Workplaces in Pennsylvania

One of the key arguments in favor of the smoke-free initiative is the positive impact it could have on the casino industry’s workforce. Parx, a leading casino operator, demonstrated that eliminating smoking does not hinder success. Both of Parx’s venues, in Bensalem and Shippensburg, have remained smoke-free since the pandemic. Notably, this decision has led to improved employee morale and reduced healthcare costs, as confirmed by Parx’s Chief Marketing Officer, Marc Oppenheimer.

Frankel emphasized that a smoke-free environment not only benefits employees but also enhances the experience for non-smoking patrons. He pointed out that those who wish to smoke still have the option to enjoy casino games online from the comfort of their homes.

Frankel’s initiative comes after previous attempts to implement similar legislation faced opposition, citing potential revenue drops. Advocates, including Pennsylvania’s Casino Employees Against Smoking Effects (CEASE) chapter, believe the ban could save lives and protect workers from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke. Currently, only a few casinos in the state have voluntarily banned smoking, while others continue to exploit the existing loopholes.


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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