The tobacco debate for Pennsylvania casinos is back. Mount Airy Casino reversed its anti-tobacco policy and decided to bring smoking indoors May 27.
Mount Airy Casino announced it for the first time no smoking in august 2021 through an announcement on their Facebook page. A similar post in December 2021 noted that the casino had ended indoor smoking. However, the casino backtracked and brought smoking back to the casino.
Parx Casino and Rivers Casino Philadelphia are the only casinos in Pennsylvania that are completely smoke free.
Indoor smoking returns to Mount Airy Casino
Mount Airy Casino is the only casino in Pennsylvania that banned smoking and then reversed course.
PlayPennsylvania contacted Mount Airy Casino on August 11, but they comment denied.
Mount Airy Casino posted on Facebook on May 27, 2022 announcing that smoking is allowed in the games room.
When Pennsylvania ended the mandate of the mask in June 2021, Mount Airy Casino announced on Facebook that he would bring back smoking on July 5, 2021:
“As of 05/07/2021, smoking will be permitted in the casino. Please read the updated smoking guidelines on the casino floor. »
The comments on the Facebook post about smoking while returning to Mount Airy are mostly negative. Some of the best reviews are:
- It’s very disappointing. The air was so much cleaner when there was no tobacco. If people need to smoke, there should be a designated area.
- I’m going to have to start again on weeknights at midnight! I will keep my throughout my stay there
- Should be NON-SMOKING! Like Restaurants and all public places!
- We won’t come anymore. This is a very bad decision to make. I don’t see anyone posting how excited this is and what a great idea it is either.
The casino then voluntarily banned smoking on August 16, 2021, make another facebook ad. The casino reiterated the ban on smoking on Facebook in December 2021. Feedback on these Facebook posts was overwhelmingly positive.
The casino reverse course on May 27, 2022 for unknown reasons. Mount Airy Casino did not allow people to comment on the Facebook ad and did not prevent users from commenting on a post before or after.
A banner at the top of the Mount Airy Casino website reads:
“Smoking is permitted on the casino floor in designated smoking areas.”
Smoking in PA Casinos
Below Pennsylvania Indoor Air Quality Act, casinos are one of the few places, including private clubs and cigar bars, that allow indoor smoking. Smoking areas cannot exceed 50% square feet of play floor.
Of the 16 casinos in Pennsylvania, only Parx Casino and Rivers Philadelphia now ban smoking indoors. Philadelphia Rivers no smoking in April and parx instituted a smoking ban in June 2021, the first casino in Pennsylvania to do so.
In March 2021, two western Pennsylvania lawmakers introduced legislation that would make all casinos in the state smoke-free. Casinos in New York, Delaware, Maryland and Connecticut not allow smoking.
What is the impact of Mount Airy’s decision on other PA casinos?
Chris MoyerFounder and President of Moyer Strategies, which represents Americans for Non-Smokers Rightsspoke to PlayPennsylvania about Mount Airy Casino’s decision to bring smoking indoors:
“It is disappointing for the employees, who are at the discretion of the directors of the casino, whether or not their health is protected at work or not. It was commendable that Mount Airy voluntarily implemented an indoor smoke-free policy and they have done very well from a revenue perspective, which of course is secondary to protecting the health of their employees. It’s disappointing, but that’s why we need state laws to prevent this from happening again.
With Mount Airy Casino’s decision to reverse course on smoking, could he open the door for the other two smoke-free PA casinos, Parx and Rivers Philadelphia, Do the same thing?
“No, quite the opposite. They’re pretty firm in their commitment to that,” Moyer said. “I know Parx has seen an increase in market share and they’ve had a ton of great feedback from employees and guests who don’t want to be in a smoky environment.”
Moyer said he needed Mount Airy Casino Employees report smoking in their casino.
Smoking in Atlantic City Casinos
Smoking in Atlantic City Casinos also been talked about for years. A study showed that smoking in Atlantic City casinos will not affect revenue figures.
Atlantic City casino workers are undeterred in their quest for a smoking ban and have crossed a critical threshold this summer. Moyer said more than half of all lawmakers in the Legislature are cosponsoring bills to close the loophole in New Jersey’s 2006 smoke-free air law.
Lawmakers will seek to move the bill forward after Labor Day. Moyer will not set a deadline for smoking will be prohibitedhowever, he wants it to happen as soon as possible.
“It’s been 400 days since smoking was allowed again in Atlantic City casinos. Every day that passes is another day a worker has to breathe in second-hand smoke and put their health at risk.
Does smoking have an impact on casino revenue?
Parx, the highest-grossing land-based casino in Pennsylvania, has remained smoke-free since June 2021. Parx’s slot revenue percentage has increased by 9.24% from fiscal year 2020/21 to fiscal year 2021/22 and their table game revenue jumped to a 22.52% increase from
Mount Airy Casino, who was a non-smoker from June 2021 to May 27, 2022, saw a increase in turnover from financial year 2020/21 to financial year 2021/22. The casino saw a 3.98% increase in slot games from fiscal year 2020/21 to fiscal year 2021/22 and a 9.36% increase in table games over the same period.
Main image by Katie Kohler