A new bill in Kansas aims to ban smoking at the four state-owned casinos. House Bill 2622 has bipartisan support and will be considered by lawmakers on Wednesday in the House Committee on Health and Human Services.
one of just 11 states that still allows smoking in gambling venues
The bill proposes changing the existing Kansas Indoor Clean Air Act from 2012, which prohibits smoking inside most workplaces. This does not extend to casinos, making Kansas one of just 11 states that still allows smoking in gambling venues.
The Casino Employees Against Smoking Effects action group welcomed the legislation. The group’s leader, Joe Hafley, said that for too long “casino workers like myself have had to endure the hazardous conditions of second-hand smoke, all in the name of a paycheck.”
The state’s four state-owned casinos allow smoking throughout their gaming floors, except for certain smoke-free designated areas.
Lawmakers in other states have proposed similar restrictions, including in New Jersey and Rhode Island. Opponents of such a change believe that a smoking ban would hurt revenues and lead to job losses. Gamblers would supposedly not spend as much on slot machines or table games if they had to go outside or to a designated area to smoke.
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