Resolution backs the efforts to promote smoke-free gaming by advocates, state legislators and gaming commissions and control boards
The National Council of Legislators from Gaming States
Committee voted to support efforts encouraging 100%
smoke-free gaming facilities in the states. The resolution was passed by the
NCLGS Committee on Casinos by an overwhelming margin on January 9 and was subsequently
adopted by the group’s governing Committee the following day.
The resolution acknowledges that in many
states gaming venues are smoking-permitted, exposing workers and patrons to
secondhand smoke, which has the potential to lead to serious health effects.
The resolution backs efforts to promote
smoke-free gaming by advocates, state legislators and gaming commissions and
control boards, as well as efforts by tribal nations and those involved in
tribal-state gaming compact negotiations. It was originally offered for
consideration by the New Jersey Group Against Smoking Pollution (NJ
GASP) and sponsored for discussion by NCLGS President Rep.
Bill Oberle (DE) one year ago on January 4, 2008.
In speaking to the resolution, Rep.
Oberle said, “NCLGS stands behind what it believes to be sound public policy that
will promote a healthy atmosphere in the states for both consumers and
businesses. This resolution supports efforts to bring casinos in line with the
increasing number of state no-smoking policies aimed at public areas, such
as workplaces, restaurants and bars.”
“We thank Rep. Oberle and NCLGS for
addressing this important public policy issue to protect workers and patrons from
hazardous second-hand smoke,” said Karen Blumenfeld, Executive Director of New
The resolution was the culmination of
more than a year’s investigation of this divisive issue and input at NCLGS Committee
meetings and hearings from-among others-legislators, regulators, and smoke-free
“NCLGS endorses efforts to achieve what
we believe is a very worthwhile goal. The organization has exercised due
process in its examination of the issue and has ensured that all interested
parties have had an opportunity to weigh in on the debate.” said Rep. Oberle.
Rep. Oberle said, “NCLGS will continue
to work with interested parties to meet the resolution’s objectives and will distribute
the resolution to the appropriate state and federal legislative leaders and
gaming regulatory authorities.”
During its exploration of the issue,
NCLGS received oral and written testimony, as well as data, from
representatives of the American Heart Association, American
Lung Association, American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation, Arizonans Concerned
About Smoking, Black Hills Center for American Indian Health, Campaign for Tobacco-Free
Kids, California Clean Air Project, New Jersey GASP, Iowa Gaming Association,
Cancer Institute, and casino workers and patrons.
NCLGS is the only organization of its
kind where legislators can hear all sides of gaming-related issues in an unbiased
format. NCLGS is neither pro- nor anti-gaming. NCLGS exists to educate state
legislators and other policymakers on issues dealing with gaming; seeks
appropriate regulation of gaming; and works to preserve the
traditional rights of the states to regulate and tax gaming
within their borders.
State legislators back 100% smoke-free gaming
January 19, 2009