Hancock County, WV smokefree workplace law will save lives and increase parity for Ohio and WV casino operators
Congratulations to Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack, and Resort in New Cumberland, West Virginia!
As of July 1, 2015 the Mountaineer is finally 100% smokefree indoors -thanks to Hancock County’s new smokefree workplace regulation. Smoking is allowed outside on smoking patios located off the gaming floor- where lighting up won’t harm the health of everyone working and breathing inside.
The hundreds of gaming staff at this property now have the same right to breathe clean air at work as casino staff in more than 20 states and hundreds of gaming properties.
In recent years, Mountaineer Casino in Hancock County, West Virginia has experienced declining gaming revenue resulting from growing competition with Ohio.
Ohio’s gaming properties are all 100% smokefree indoors AND they also compete very well in a multi-state regional market against smoke-filled competitors in West Virginia, Indiana, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.
Despite the hype from the tobacco industry, it’s simply not a big deal for someone to step out to a smoking patio for a few minutes and come back in – just like people get up to use the restroom, eat, or use a non-gaming amenity, etc. Plus, more than 82% of the U.S. adult population today are nonsmokers, including most casino-goers and Millennials.
El Dorado Resorts, owner of Mountaineer Casino, also owns Scioto Downs slot casino in Columbus, Ohio – which opened 100% smokefree indoors in 2012. From that experience, they can apply the lessons learned in approach to design and operations.
Hancock County’s smokefree law will result in a healthier workforce, more livable community, and save lives for generations to come. The smokefree law also helps create regional parity on this issue for casino operators. Gaming sector employers in more states can simply take for granted that their competition is also covered by the same standard. The faster that more jurisdictions adopt strong smokefree workplace laws, the sooner the gaming industry can move past this issue.
Casinos are now a top employer in many areas. Lawmakers must hold casinos to the same standard for a safe, smokefree workplace as any other mainstream employer. Gaming job and revenue creation doesn’t need to come at the expense of sickening the very people those jobs are supposed to be helping.
There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Smoking sections, smoking rooms, and even sophisticated casino ventilation systems do not address the health hazards of secondhand smoke.
When visiting West Virginia, be sure to check out Mountaineer and other smokefree indoor air gaming entertainment facilities!