As a former casino employee, smoking used to be one of my major occupational hazards, so smoking in casinos in an issue that I’ve always been interested in. On one hand, governments telling people what they can do with their time and money seems like a manifestation of the nanny state. On the other, I’d like to think that everyone has the right to breath air free of carcinogens and all sorts of other nasty gunk. So I can see the merit on both sides of the pro- and anti-smoking arguments. Still, something inside me cheers to learn that, according to Smoke-Free Gaming, South Dakota casinos are going smokeless today:
South Dakota voters approved a law Nov. 2, 2010 that will require all casinos to be 100% smoke free. The law also applies to all bars and video lottery establishments. Tribal casinos, which are exempt, will become designated smoking casinos. The law goes into effect on Nov. 10, 2010.
In 2009, the legislature voted to extend the state's current ban on smoking in most workplaces, but a coalition of bars and gambling businesses gathered enough signatures to force a statewide vote.
Referred Law 12 will protect workers from secondhand smoke exposure which causes heart disease, lung cancer and many other illnesses and disease
Smoke-Free Gaming also has a listed of states with complete or partial bans on smoking in gaming establishments that I thought I’d share:
Nevada– locations with 15 or less slot machines
Fernley Nugget–located in Fernley, NV is voluntarily smoke free
New Jersey—75% of the casino gaming floors are non smoking. Smoking areas are not enclosed and not contiguous
Pennsylvania–Up to 50% of casino gaming floor areas are non smoking. Smoking areas are not enclosed
West Virginia (Only the counties of Cabell, Calhoun, Gilmer, Jackson, Kanawha, Mason, Pleasants, Ritchie, Roane, Wirt, Wood and the City of Parkersburg)
Puerto Rico–U.S. Commonwealth
So this smoke-free trend seems to be gathering speed. Anyone want to guess when the last state will ban all smoking on casino floors?