Caesars Entertainment Rejects Smoke-Free Casino Proposal

Company raised concerns that banning smoking may “risk alienating smoking customers.” 

Ziv Chen - Contributor at Covers.com
Ziv Chen • Contributor
Jun 12, 2024 • 16:05 ET • 4 min read
Caesars
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Investors at Caesars Entertainment voted against a proposal to launch a report into the potential cost-saving that may be raised by introducing smoke-free casinos. The company is looking to improve its land-based casino performances after seeing year-on-year revenues fall in Q1 2024.  

The decision comes as casinos remain one of the few U.S. workplaces to allow customers to smoke. Most Caesars properties allow players to smoke on the casino floor and book hotel rooms that permit smoking.  

The proposal reached Caesars Entertainment investors as health advocates raised concerns about the safety of these workplaces for employees across the industry. Caesars defended its current policy in a proxy statement released before investors voted, saying it has smoke-free casinos in seven states because those states prohibit indoor smoking. The company raised concerns that banning smoking may “risk alienating our smoking customers.” 

In addition to Caesars, more hospitality companies are now considering smoke-free venues. Last month, smoke-free proposals at Bally’s Corp. and Boyd Gaming Corp. received 11.6% and 22.5% investor support, respectively.  

These proposals were championed by the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation and Trinity Health, citing a 2006 report from the U.S. Surgeon General indicating there is no healthy amount of secondhand smoke exposure.  

The Director of Advocacy at American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation, Bronson Frick, assured investors that non-smoking casinos would still allow players to smoke on patios. He also emphasized the health risk to workers, saying, employees “struggling to make ends meet are having to make that choice between their paycheck and their health.” 

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