Former State Sen. Ray Lesniak: “Reputation-wise, it won’t be beneficial for the future of Atlantic City casinos overall”

Latest Indication that Smokefree is Now Seen as a Positive for Gaming Revenue 

February 22, 2021

Berkeley, CA – Former New Jersey State Senator Ray Lesniak, who led the push to legalize sports betting in the state, said he believes Atlantic City casinos will continue with the current smokefree indoor policy and make it permanent, even after the pandemic:

“Atlantic City found out way too late that its future cannot just be about money made on the floor of a casino. And now, it’s moving toward a more diverse economy, and that includes a healthy atmosphere for patrons. Reputation-wise, it won’t be beneficial for the future of Atlantic City casinos overall if we allow … certainly not marijuana smoking, but if we allow cigarette smoking as well. I really don’t think that’s coming back,” said Lesniak.

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More and more casinos nationwide are going smokefree. At least 160 sovereign Tribal gaming venues have implemented 100% smokefree policies during COVID-19, 23 states require commercial casinos to be smokefree indoors, and more than 1,000 gaming properties do not permit smoking indoors.

Americans for Nonsmoker’s Rights (ANR) is a member-supported, non-profit advocacy group that has been working for 45 years, since 1976, to protect everyone’s right to breathe nontoxic air in workplaces and public places, from offices and airplanes to restaurants, bars, and casinos. ANR 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 law. ANR aims to close gaps in smokefree protections for workers in all workplaces, including bars, music venues, casinos, and hotels. For more information, please visit and