“The CANJ is running and hiding right now,” said Peter Naccarelli, a Borgata dealer and a leader of a push by casino workers to ban smoking in their workplaces. “They have no logical arguments.”
Lamont White, another Borgata dealer opposed to smoking, said the casino industry's main argument has always been, “We'd lose money, and money is more important than casino workers lives.”
“That's all they have to say,” he said.
Giannantonio declined comment on Thursday's demonstration, referring a reporter to a statement the casino association issued earlier this month in which it said "an immediate smoking ban would have a significant adverse effect on Atlantic City.”
Murphy, the state's Democratic governor, has promised to sign the bill if it passes. But Legislative leaders have thus far refused to set a hearing date for a committee in either the Senate or Assembly, which has to happen before the bill can move forward.
Murphy addressed Thursday's conference, but did not mention the proposed ban in any detail.
But during an afternoon session, Eric Hausler, CEO of Greenwood Racing, which owns Pennsylvania's smoke-free Parx casino, said that policy has been successful.
“So far, so good,” he said.
When reopening in 2020 after the initial wave of the pandemic, Hausler said, Parx decided to remain smoke-free, “for better or worse. If you look at our market share numbers, they're holding up just fine. We intend to stay that way. Our customers have gotten used to it."
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