CEASE Releases New Videos Prior to MGM Shareholder Meeting

Casino Workers Call on MGM to Prioritize This Life-Saving Issue And Swiftly Take Action

CEASE logo - Casino Employees Against Smoking's Effects

April 29, 2024
Contact: ceasesmokingnj@gmail.com

Atlantic City, NJ — Ahead of MGM’s annual shareholder meeting, Casino Employees Against Smoking Effects (CEASE) co-founders and MGM Resorts casino workers at Borgata in Atlantic City released videos calling on the casino corporation to prioritize workers’ health by assessing the potential cost benefits of transitioning to a smokefree indoor air policy. 

“Nine out of ten people today are non-smokers, and smoking rates continue to fall. Shifting smoking to outdoor areas would greatly improve the health and productivity of our workforce, lower costs, and enhance the overall experience for our customers,” said Pete Naccarelli, co-founder of CEASE. “Can we expect MGM to prioritize this issue and swiftly take action to create a healthier environment for all? Smoking sections, smoking rooms, and ventilation systems do not address the health hazards of secondhand smoke according to the CDC, the U.S. Surgeon General, and ASHRAE.”

“When state restrictions were lifted and smoking was permitted to return, we were extremely disappointed at how careless the industry leaders were when it came to smoking indoor policies. With over 21 states and 1,068 casinos that are non-smoking, voluntarily or by state law, we’ve seen how successful this industry can run while protecting its workforce and patrons – there have been proven studies documenting this,” Nicole Vitola, co-founder of CEASE, said“As one of the largest industry gaming leaders, casinos all throughout the United States look to MGM to set gaming standards. When will MGM seriously evaluate the benefits of transitioning to a smokefree indoor air policy?”

In the upcoming weeks, shareholders of Boyd Gaming (May 9th), Bally’s Corporation (May 16th), and Caesars Entertainment (to be announced) will vote on a shareholder proposal similar to CEASE’s ask, requesting that the companies individually commission and disclose a report on the potential cost savings through adoption of a smokefree policy at their properties across the United States. Boyd Gaming and Caesars Entertainment sought to omit the proposal from their Annual Meeting of Stockholders. However, the votes will take place after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rebuffed attempts to dismiss the proposal. 

In the resolutions submitted in late 2023 to Bally’s Corporation, Boyd Gaming, and Caesars Entertainment, lead filer Trinity Health, a Livonia, Michigan-based health care system, and co-filer ANRF wrote: “There are potential business risks to allowing indoor smoking in Caesars Entertainment properties, from higher employee health insurance premiums (when compared with casinos that don’t permit indoor smoking), greater maintenance costs, and deterring a significant number of potential visitors who won’t visit a casino due exposure to tobacco smoke (88.5% of the American public does not smoke).”

“Shareholders have no guidance as to the costs our Company is bearing for continuing to allow indoor smoking, nor has the Company disclosed the social and environmental costs and risks imposed on its stakeholders,” wrote the filers. “Shareholders request the Board of Directors commission and disclose a report on the potential cost savings through the adoption of a smokefree policy for Caesars Entertainment properties.”

MGM Resorts operates 12 casinos that permit indoor smoking in four states: Mississippi; Nevada; New Jersey; and Michigan. The company also operates five smokefree casinos in: Nevada; Massachusetts; Maryland; and Ohio. It employs approximately 83,000 workers. 


Casino Employees Against Smoking (Harmful) Effects (CEASE) is a group of thousands of casino dealers and other frontline gaming workers that formed after indoor smoking returned on July 4, 2021 in Atlantic City, NJ and has expanded to states around the country. CEASE is fighting to permanently remove smoking from our workplaces. For more information, visit ceasesmoking.org.