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Atlantic City’s casino dealers with cancer advocate smoking ban

Vulnerable casino workers have emphasized the immediate need to ban smoking within these establishments.

Drawing from their personal experiences, they provided examples as to why action needs to be taken urgently.

Tammy Brady, a casino worker with stage 2 cancer, spoke to the Associated Press and expressed her belief that working in indoor smoking environments on casino grounds may have contributed to her illness.

“Brady who works at the Borgata casino said that “while I’m not sure we will ever know the exact cause of my illness, I can’t help but wonder if it would have happened if the casinos hadn’t forced me to work in second-hand smoke.”

Another of such persons is Holly Diebler who is currently undergoing chemotherapy for throat cancer. Despite concerns that her job as a crap dealer at Tropicana may have contributed to her illness, Diebler want to keep her job. However, doubts linger regarding how her work conditions made her sick.

“I don’t even know how long I’m going to live,” she said. “I love my job; I don’t want to leave it. But all my oncologists have told me this is a life-and-death choice.”

Meanwhile, banning smoking on casino floors remains a controversial issue. A bill proposing the banning of smoking on casino floors has been introduced and Governor Phil Murphy has expressed support for it, the legislation has not yet been passed, despite assurances from lawmakers that they would see it through.

During a hearing on Thursday, several casino employees spoke in support of a proposed bill that would ban smoking in all nine casinos in Atlantic City.

Former Assemblyman Don Guardian was also critical of the issue when speaking to the Associated Press. He noted that he didn’t seek to impose a ban on smoking generally, but rather wanted to take people’s “right to kill others by smoking in a casino.”

Casinos have consistently objected to the proposal, claiming that ending the exemption for casinos in the 2006 indoor smoking ban would have a negative impact on their revenue.

They have appealed to lawmakers to consider that improving financial performance is not always indicative of stability, as casinos also have to pay significant expenses to third-party that run online operations.

In a statement released by the association, the Casino Association of New Jersey said “The Atlantic City casino industry is still very much in a rebuilding and recovery phase from where it was at the start of the pandemic.

“Visitation to Atlantic City is near a 20-year low, while gas and toll prices are increasing. Adding a smoking ban could cause a devastating effect to the community and state in this difficult economy,” the statement said.

However, according to Janice Green, a dealer at the Tropicana, there is nothing unreasonable about prohibiting smoking in casinos or designating specific areas for smokers, as she expressed to the media.

C3 Gaming, a consultancy, said that the argument that there will be a downturn in financial performance also seems patchy at best.

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