Casino Management & Policymakers Support Smokefree Casinos and Smokefree Gaming

June 12, 2014


Natalie Fraser, Ponca City Chamber of Commerce Chairwoman

Regarding the voluntary smokefree policy of the Kaw Nation’s SouthWind Casino: “It’s really refreshing to walk inside and not be inundated by the smell of smoke, so I’m sure it’ll be a popular destination.”

Quoted In:

[n.a.], “SouthWind Casino Kaw City Celebrates Grand Opening,” Kaw Nation, 2013.


Pam Shaw, Casino Manager, SouthWind Casino

The SouthWind Casino location in Kaw City will be the first smoke-free casino in the area and one of the first in Oklahoma when it begins business in March. Regarding the policy, Shaw stated, “In my experience, I’ve found this is something there’s a market for. People want to go somewhere where there’s no smoke.”

Quoted In:

[n.a.], “Smoke-free casino opening in Kaw City,” Kaw Nation Web Site — http://kawnation.com/?p=5597, [2013].


Richard St. Jean, General Manager, Hollywood Casino, Toledo, OH

On the casino’s smokefree policy: “I think as more and more people get accustomed to smoke-free environments … more people like the fresh environment.”

Quoted In:

Henkel, K., “Hollywood Casino in Toledo betting on luring Michigan visitors: owners hope to draw players with smoke-free gaming,” Detroit Business News, May 22, 2012.


Paul Doocey, Editor, “Casino Journal” magazine

“…the issue that most besmirches the casino operator community is smoking, and its continued enabling of the act despite the vast amount of evidence showing the harm it causes those who are exposed to second-hand tobacco smoke.”

Quoted In:

Doocey, P., “Editorial: smoke and mirrors,” Casino Journal, June 7, 2011.


Ray Basham, Michigan State Senator

“Casinos may be a safe-haven for smokers, but they’re like a gas chamber for workers. Most Michigan bars and restaurants have gone smoke-free without any major uproar or a decrease in business, and have been able to still accommodate smokers without putting their non-smoking patrons and employees in harm’s way.”

Quoted In:

Oosting, J., “State Sen. Ray Basham seeks to expand Michigan smoking ban to Detroit casinos,” Michigan Live, July 6, 2010.


Susan C. Fargo, Massachusetts Senator

On an amendment introduced to exempt any state casinos from a smokefree law: “I thought we were trying to create jobs here. Why create jobs for people who will sicken and die? This is the most hypocritical thing I’ve seen in my 14 years in the Senate.”

Quoted In:

Levenson, M., “Senate votes to ban smoking in future casinos,” Boston Globe, June 24, 2010.


Mark Kaplan, Marketing Director, Taos Mountain Casino, NM

“We opened 100% smokefree in 1997. We’ve expanded 100% smokefree. And even smokers thank us for it.”

Quoted In:

[n.a.], “[“We opened 100% smokefree in 1997. We’ve expanded 100% smokefree. And even smokers thank us for it.”],” TobaccoScam, 2008.


Tony Rodio, Regional President of the Atlantic City Hilton Casino Resort and Resorts Atlantic City

“We propose that no dollars be wasted constructing walls or smoking lounges that are unsightly or ineffective on the casino floor, and that the industry, state and city all agree that each casino will be 100 percent smokefree at some point in the future.”

Quoted In:

Rodio, T., “Rodio: scrap lounges, build attractions,” Press of Atlantic City, September 20, 2007.


J. Carlos Tolosa, Eastern Division President, Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc.

“We are committed to improving the work environment for our employees. I believe this smoke-free ordinance provides our industry with a fair transitional guideline for better workplace conditions.”

Quoted In:

Parry, W., “5 Atlantic City Casinos Going Smoke-Free,” Associated Press, September 12, 2007.


J. Carlos Tolosa, Eastern Division President, Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc.

”Harrah’s Entertainment fully-supports the Atlantic City Council’s approved ordinance designating smoke-free zones within our resorts. We are committed to improving the work environment for our employees and we thank the Council for working with us on this important issue.”

Quoted In:

Sokolic, W.H., “Harrah’s to create smoking lounges,” Courier-Post, September 12, 2007.


Frank Fahrenkopf, President, American Gaming Association (AGA)

“A year or two down the road there’s not any public facility you’re going to be able to smoke a cigarette in and that includes us.” Fahrenkopf said any restrictions applied to commercial casinos should also be imposed on American Indian casinos. “We think that ought to go across the board,” he said.

Quoted In:

Associated Press, “U.S. gambling revenues up 6.8% to $32.4 billion,” KOLOTV.com, May 8, 2007.


Fred Buro, President, Tropicana Atlantic City, NJ

“Everybody’s in the same boat. Everybody thinks everything should be smokefree,” Buro said of Atlantic City’s desire to see a smoking ban spread to competing markets.”

Quoted In:

Wittkowski, D., “Time runs down for smoking at casinos,” Press of Atlantic City, April 2, 2007


Fred Buro, President, Tropicana Atlantic City, NJ

“We think ultimately everybody will end up in the long run, and maybe the short run, smoke-free.”

Quoted In:

Jones, C., “Casino smoking crackdowns not just in A.C.,” Philadelphia Inquirer, March 26, 2007.


Joseph Vitale, New Jersey Senator

“Surely, the powerful and creative minds who built the colossal monuments of the gambling industry in Atlantic City can conjure up ways to keep luring people to casinos without killing the help.”

Quoted In:

Hester, Jr., T., “Complete casino smoking ban sought by senators,” Associated Press, February 21, 2007.


James B. Perry, Chief Executive Officer of Trump Entertainment Resorts, NJ

“Generally speaking, we believe over the next three-year period smoking will be banned in almost all casinos throughout the United States or certainly on the eastern seaboard. Longterm, we have to be prepared to operate these casinos in a smoke-free environment.”

Quoted In:

Harper, D., “Atlantic City Council bans most casino smoking: compromise ban clears the air on 75 percent of gaming floors,” Press of Atlantic City, February 8, 2007.


Joseph Weinert, Vice president of the Spectrum Gaming Group, an international consulting firm based in New Jersey

“I think every Atlantic City casino operator and every state-regulated casino operator in the country realizes at some point they’re going to have to be smoke-free.”

Quoted In:

Giordano, R., “Smoke ban in the cards?,” Philadelphia Inquirer, February 5, 2007.


Marc Kaplan, Marketing Director, Taos Mountain Casino, NM

“If you put a gun to my head and we went to smoking, it would hurt our revenue. My biggest marketing tool is being smoke-free.”

Quoted In:

Giordano, R., “Smoke ban in the cards?,” Philadelphia Inquirer, February 5, 2007.


 

Ed Suttor, Dover Downs Operating Officer, DE

“I think it’s going to happen inevitably across the United States. There’s an old saying: You have lemons, you make lemonade. We’re advertising that we’re smoke-free.”

Quoted In:

Giordano, R., “Smoke ban in the cards?,” Philadelphia Inquirer, February 5, 2007.


“We [Casino Regina] certainly look on the whole non-smoking policy by the government as a very positive thing. We think it’s good for the casino, and, on the public side, we think it’s good to have a completely smoke-free facility,” said Bill Davies, a spokesperson for the Crown corporation that operates Casino Regina and Casino Moose Jaw.

Quoted In:

[n.a.], “Smoking ban not a problem, casino operator says,” Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, February 14, 2005. Downloaded at http://sask.cbc.ca/regional/servlet/PrintStory?filename=casinos-smoking050204&region=Sask.


“They’ll eventually go nonsmoking or they will go out of business,” said Weldon Russell, corporate director of bingo, keno and poker for Station Casinos.

Quoted In:

Benston, L., “More poker rooms going smoke-free,” Las Vegas Sun, February 14, 2005. Downloaded at http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/gaming/2005/feb/14/518288620.html.


Gary DeWitt, Manager of the Palace Station poker room, said the move was good for business, “I’m 100% for it [smokefree policy]. The time was right.”

Quoted In:

Ibid., 2005.


“[We’re] as fully prepared as can be reasonably expected… [The] clarity around the [smokefree] law would mean that people know what to expect, there’s no confusion…We think the business is well set to move forward, and we’re pretty well placed to accommodate the regulatory changes,” said Evan Davies, chief executive of Sky City Entertainment Group, New Zealand’s gambling industry leader.

Navaratnam, S., “NZ’s Smoke Ban Cloud Won’t Permanently Harm Business,” www.fxcm.com, December 8, 2004. Accessed on December 8, 2004. Downloaded at http://sg.biz.yahoo.com/041207/15/3p3jm.html.


“It’s [going smokefree] just good business,” said Mitchell Etess, executive vice president of the Mohegan Sun Casino.

Quoted In:

Masterson, K., “Casinos offer a healthier alternative with non-smoking areas,” Associated Press, April 17, 2001.



“Every survey of our customers has indicated that the number one amenity they would like to see at Mohegan Sun is a smoke-free gaming area… Similarly, in response to customer demand, we converted our poker area to a smoke-free environment in April 2000. The feedback we have received has been great,” said William J. Velardo, president and general manager of the Mohegan Sun Casino.

Quoted In:

[n.a.], “Mohegan Sun announces new smoke-free venue,” PRNewswire, October 17, 2000.


“You’ll see less and less opposition as competitors to casinos – other gaming venues or other entertainment venues – go nonsmoking. Casinos don’t want to be put at a competitive disadvantage,” said Michael Pollock, publisher of the Gaming Industry Observer, an Atlantic City casino industry newsletter.

Quoted In:

[n.a.], “Efforts Stall to Cut Smoke Risk for Casino Workers,” www.joingtogether.org, October 18, 2004. Downloaded at http://www.jointogether.org/y/0,2521,574927,00.html.



“It’s hard to explain why casinos continue to be carved out… I don’t know how these exemptions keep coming to pass. If we’re talking about protecting employees, I don’t know how exemptions keep coming in,” said Deborah Dowdell, president of the New Jersey Restaurant Association, when talking about state smokefree laws.

Quoted In:

Curran, J., “For casino workers, smoke study underscores hazard,” Newsday/AP, October 17, 2004.

Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights

American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation
©2013
Last updated on: Mar 15, 2013