PENNSYLVANIA TO FOLLOW NJ?S LEAD IN MOVE TO BAN SMOKING IN CASINOS

Assemblymen John Amodeo and Vince Polistina welcomed the news that legislators in Pennsylvania will introduce a bill to extend that state?s Clean Indoor Air Act to include casinos when the Pennsylvania Legislature?s new session begins this month.

?It is good to see our neighbor moving in the same direction we are headed,? said Amodeo, who along with Assemblyman Polistina are sponsoring A-806, which would ban smoking in New Jersey?s casinos. ?Patrons and employees deserve to play and work in a healthful environment.?

?Despite health concerns on second hand tobacco smoke, New Jersey casino owners have expressed concerns about the ability to compete with gaming operations in neighboring states which allow smoking,? said Polistina. ?Having Pennsylvania ban smoking in casinos levels the playing field.?

In December, Pennsylvania State Senator Stewart Greenleaf announced he would introduce legislation to close the loophole in that state?s Clean Indoor Air Act, which currently allows smoking on gaming floors. New Jersey?s Smoke Free Air Act currently exempts casinos and simulcast facilities from the smoking ban. However, Assemblymen Amodeo and Polistina are pushing their bill to close that loophole.

?We think our bill will get more support from our legislative colleagues once they know Pennsylvania plans to move on a smoking ban,? said Amodeo. ?Our bill became more imperative once Atlantic City Council chose to postpone its smoking ban last year. The Legislature needs to get on board with our bill to fill that void.?

?A healthy environment and a profitable environment are not mutually exclusive from one another,? said Polistina. ?New Jersey can have smoke?free and lucrative casinos, particularly if other states follow our lead and ban smoking.?

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