April 23, 2024 3 min read

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Trinity Health Urges Bally’s Shareholders to Reject Indoor Smoking

The fate of Trinity Health’s proposal will be decided at Bally’s digital meeting on May 16

Trinity Health’s efforts against indoor smoking continue as the Michigan charity doubles down on its goal of taking the fight to the shareholder level. The Livonia-headquartered nonprofit hospital network hopes to end smoking at Bally’s Corporation-owned properties across the country and end the operator’s exemption from the smoking bans in places like Rhode Island and Atlantic City.

Trinity Health, which is a Bally’s shareholder, is responsible for item number four of Bally’s agenda for the upcoming May 16 meeting. The agenda would ask the board to commission a report on the financial impact banning smoking may have on its business.  

The initiative is in line with Trinity Health’s usual strategy which has seen it leverage its shareholder status to promote a variety of positive initiatives. Some of its previous initiatives caused a variety of companies to improve their business practices, reduce pollution and minimize their negative impact on younger consumers.  

The nonprofit believes that the current condition of casino workers in Rhode Island is very concerning and is working hard to promote a ban on smoking across Bally’s properties. While getting smoking banned operator-wide would be an uphill battle, Trinity Health intends to fight it.

Bally’s Leadership Is Not on Board

However, Bally’s leadership is firmly opposed to going smoke-free. Its board recommended shooting down Trinity Health’s measure, arguing that a smoking ban would hurt the entertainment value it provides to customers. The company highlighted its compliance with local smoking laws and said that the charity’s concern is unwarranted.  

For reference, Rhode Island is surrounded by states where indoor smoking is unavailable. As a result, Bally’s properties there are perfectly positioned to attract smoking gamblers.

While Bally’s casinos in Rhode Island had temporarily removed smoking in the aftermath of the pandemic, they eventually reinstated it, to the dismay of casino workers. Unlike Atlantic City’s divided workers, the Rhode Island employees seem to unanimously approve of Trinity Health’s initiative.

Bally’s union workers complained that some have experienced healthcare problems because of indoor smoking. Even non-smoking casino workers have seen their health deteriorate over time.

In the meantime, Trinity Health’s measure has also received support at the state level. Rep. Teresa Tanzi praised the efforts to ban smoking across Bally’s properties, saying that Rhode Island is still “far behind the times.”

Tanzi added that if people were allowed to vote their conscience, a statewide ban on smoking would pass. However, the measure continues to be stalled by pro-smoking activists.

In the meantime, Trinity Health is also trying to get smoking banned across Boyd Gaming’s venues.

Journalist

Although Fiona doesn't have a long-spanning background within the gambling industry, she is an incredibly skilled journalist who has built a strong interest in the constantly growing iGaming network. The team at GamblingNews.com is glad to have her on our roster to help deliver the best stories as soon as they hit. Aside from writing, she loves to dabble in online casino games such as slots and roulette, both for her own enjoyment and also as research to better improve her understanding of the industry.

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