Caesars Shareholders Reject Proposal to Study the Benefits of Going Smoke-Free

Tuesday, 2 July 2024

Caesars Entertainment’s shareholders are apparently not on board with a recent proposal to study the effects of smoke-free casinos. While activists continue to fervently promote the idea of smoke-free casinos, citing health-related concerns, gambling companies and their investors remain obstinate in maintaining the status quo. The proposal was filed by public health and labor advocates from the Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation and healthcare provider Trinity Health. The aforementioned organizations suggested that implementing a non-smoking policy across Caesars’ 52 properties in the United States could help the company save up money.

Caesars

However, approximately 80% of Caesars’ shareholders voted against the proposal, following Caesars’ claim that change isn’t needed. For context, the casino operator described its smoking policy as a “complex business decision” and added that it currently complies with local regulations. Caesars further explained that it doesn’t believe compiling a report on the effects of smoke-free casinos wouldn’t be an “effective use of company resources.”

While the proposal was rejected, its proponents said that they were encouraged by the support it received and plan to bring it back in 2025. For context, almost 19% of Caesars’ shareholders voted in favor of the support, sparking hope about the future of smoke-free casinos.

Paula Larson-Schusster, president of United Auto Workers Local 3555 and dealer at Caesars’ Flamingo casino hotel in Vegas, said that the support represents a “forward move.” She added that companies will not be convinced to go smoke-free easily but added that the proposal was but the first step in raising awareness on the matter. Larson-Schusster was firm that a smoke-free policy would not hurt casino companies’ product but would actually make it more valuable.

Indoor smoking continues to be one of the hot topics of the American casino industry. Many states exempt casinos from the indoor smoking ban, allowing them to dedicate a portion of their gaming area as a smoking zone. However, proponents of banning smoking at casinos argue that this exposes casino workers to high levels of unhealthy smoke and can potentially lead to health complications.

While casino companies fear that going smoke-free could deal a blow to their profits, supporters of this change point out that there are already casinos that prohibit smoking without seeing a decline in profits. The multi-front war on smoking also continues in states such as Pennsylvania where CEASE and UAW recently asked lawmakers to end the loophole that allows casinos to offer indoor smoking.

Source: gamblingnews.com





Author: Editor

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