With little momentum on a potential smoking ban for New Jersey casinos, union members began lighting up cigarettes in the middle of a meeting hall. This was done to accentuate the problems with allowing smoking inside a workplace. Meanwhile, the New Jersey online casino industry recently celebrated 10 years of operation.
Cigarettes Lit In New Jersey Smoking Ban Meeting
Frustrations over the lack of a smoking band in Atlantic City casinos boiled over this week, leading to a unique protest and individuals escorted out of a meeting by state police. The meeting in question, which was held by the state Assembly committee, was held for a preliminary vote on a smoking ban bill targeted at New Jersey casinos.
The bill that would fully ban smoking in New Jersey casinos was ultimately abandoned by one of the leading employees, instead pivoting towards enclosed smoking rooms and other casino-friendly measures.
This led to seven members of the United Auto Workers union smoking in the State House Annex’s meeting hall, which is prohibited. Penn Live reported that the union’s regional director, Daniel Vicente, said, “We’re not allowed to smoke in your workplace, but you’re allowed to smoke in ours… They say it’s OK for secondhand smoke to be blown in our faces all day, every day. We wanted to know if it’s OK if we did that in their workplace.”
The union members were escorted out of the meeting hall by state police. No charges were filed against the smoking individuals. The United Auto Workers union represents dealers at three different Atlantic City casinos.
The original bill has received doubts from State Senator Vince Polistina, who has made appearances at rallies around the potential casino smoking ban. Instead, Polistina is looking to create a new measure that both reduces secondhand smoke around employees and casino patrons while still being beneficial for the casinos themselves.
This new bill, which will likely debut next year, would completely ban all smoking at table games while slowly reducing smoking at slot machines over an 18-month period. This would give locations time to construct enclosed smoking rooms.
New Jersey Online Casinos Have Been Active For 10 Years
With the controversy surrounding the potential smoking ban in New Jersey looking to continue, online casino gaming provides an alternate way to play table games and slot machines. The state is home to plenty of major iGaming operators like FanDuel Casino, Caesars Palace Casino, and Hard Rock Bet Casino.
Overall, New Jersey online casinos have generated $7.2 billion in total revenue since launch. Additionally, iGaming in the Garden State has brought in $1.06 billion in state tax revenue. Golden Nugget Online Casino has generated the most revenue in the area, with $2.04 billion and $304 million in taxes since launch.
Retail casinos in the state, meanwhile, have generated $19.6 billion in revenue, with $14 billion from slot machines, $5.2 billion from table games, and $183 thousand from poker.
New Jersey’s online casino industry was the very first to launch in the U.S., with the first platforms going live in 2013. Six online casino sites rolled out on November 26, 2013: Tropicana Casino, Harrah’s Casino, Borgata Casino, Caesars Casino, Party Casino, and 888 Casino. Now, New Jersey stands as one of five U.S. states that allows for iGaming, including Michigan, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and West Virginia. Online casino gaming has also been available in Ontario since April of 2022.