ANR Foundation: “We Are Confident that We Now Have the Attention of the Highest Level Executives at Not Just Boyd Gaming But Across the Entire Gaming Industry.” 

Rhode Island Treasurer Has Announced His Support for Similar Bally’s Corporation Proposal on Thursday

May 13, 2024


Berkeley, CA – In the first of three shareholder votes by major casino companies in the coming weeks, Boyd Gaming’s shareholders on Thursday did not pass the measure requiring the company to study the business costs of maintaining indoor smoking at its properties. However, shareholders easily surpassed the 5% threshold required for a proposal in its first year to be brought back for a vote at next year’s annual shareholder meeting. In order to resubmit a proposal, it must receive 5% support the first year, 15% the second year, and 25% the third year.

According to Boyd Gaming’s SEC filing earlier today, 18.5 million shareholders, or 22.5%, voted in favor of the proposal, while 63.6 million voted against it. 

“Passing a proposal opposed by the company requires significant education with our fellow shareholders, so we’re very pleased by this vote that will allow us to continue to seek more information about the costs the company bears by continuing to allow indoor smoking,” said Cynthia Hallett, president and CEO of the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation (ANRF), one of the filers of the proposal. “We’ve established an incredibly strong foundation from which to build – most proposals don’t even make it to a vote, let alone reach double digit-level support. With this issue now reaching the boardroom, companies cannot hide from this important matter that affects the health and well-being of their employees and guests. We are confident that we now have the attention of the highest level executives at not just Boyd Gaming but across the entire gaming industry

Separately, ahead of a similar vote happening this week with shareholders of Bally’s Corporation, the Rhode Island Treasurer on Friday announced he’ll vote in favor of the proposal to study indoor smoking, according to the Boston Globe.  

Investors weighed in on a shareholder proposal from the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation (ANRF) and Trinity Health, a Livonia, Michigan-based health care system. The proposal sought to study the potential cost savings through the implementation of a smokefree policy across Boyd Gaming properties. 

Boyd Gaming had an initial resistance to even studying the potential impact of a smokefree policy. Despite attempts to block the proposal from the meeting, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rebuffed Boyd’s attempts. Shareholders of Bally’s Corporation (May 16th) and Caesars Entertainment (June 11) will also vote on similar proposals. 

In a resolution submitted in November 2023 to Boyd Gaming (and in similar resolutions submitted around the same timeframe in late 2023 to all three corporations), lead filer Trinity Health and co-filer ANRF wrote: “There are potential business risks to allowing indoor smoking in Boyd Gaming properties, from higher employee health insurance premiums (when compared with casinos that don’t permit indoor smoking), greater maintenance costs, and deterring a significant number of potential visitors who won’t visit a casino due exposure to tobacco smoke (88.5% of the American public does not smoke).”
“Shareholders have no guidance as to the costs our Company is bearing for continuing to allow indoor smoking, nor has the Company disclosed the social and environmental costs and risks imposed on its stakeholders,” wrote the filers, who are members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility.

American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation (ANRF) is a 501c3 non-profit educational and advocacy group that has been working for over 40 years to protect everyone’s right to breathe nontoxic air in workplaces and public places, from offices and airplanes to restaurants, bars, and casinos. ANRF has continuously shined a light on the tobacco industry’s interference with sound and life-saving public health measures and successfully protected 61% of the population with local or statewide smokefree workplace, restaurant, and bar laws. ANRF aims to close gaps in smokefree protections for workers in all workplaces, including bars, music venues, casinos, and hotels. For more information, please visit ANRF projects include and