November 17, 2021
Parx Casino: We Continue to Gain Market Share While Operating Smokefree, Protecting Our Employees
Berkeley, CA — Pennsylvania regulators reported on Wednesday that casinos in the Commonwealth broke its single-month revenue record in October — even as several properties in the Philadelphia area operated smokefree. Parx Casino, the highest-grossing casino in Pennsylvania, continued its success while voluntarily operating smokefree, generating $57.4 million last month, including the most revenue of any property from slots, $33.7 million. Total revenue of $425.9 million from all casinos broke the previous record for Pennsylvania that was set in July at $423.7 million.
“Operating smokefree is good for business,” said Cynthia Hallett, president and CEO of Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights. “We applaud Pennsylvania casinos that have chosen to protect their workers and also recognized the business benefits of creating a smokefree environment that most casino visitors prefer. The head of the American Gaming Association is right — smokefree policies do not have adverse effects on business. We urge casinos in Atlantic City and everywhere to stop forcing their employees to choose between their health and a paycheck.”
Last month, American Gaming Association President and CEO Bill Miller said that casinos that have gone smokefree have done so “without detrimental effect” and that the decision “hasn’t led to a decrease in business.”
CDC Gaming Reports highlighted last week how Pennsylvania casinos with smokefree indoor policies are seeing record high revenue– already surpassing figures reported in 2019. “The experiences of Parx and Mt. Airy contravene the conventional argument that a casino smoking ban significantly reduces revenue as well as local and state tax payments. Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board figures show that both Parx and Mt. Airy have earned more in the first nine months of this year than they did in 2019, when the state set a record high for gaming revenue.“
According to Parx’s chief marketing officer: “Since smoking was allowed to return to (Pennsylvania casinos) in June, we have continued to be an indoor non-smoking facility. We’ve done it for the health and comfort of both our guests and team members. We have received significant positive feedback from both constituencies. And (we) have continued our strong performance and gains of market share in the region.”
More and more casinos nationwide are going smokefree, including Park MGM on the Las Vegas strip. At least 150 sovereign Tribal gaming venues have implemented 100% smokefree policies during COVID-19, nearly half of all states require commercial casinos to be smokefree indoors, and nearly 1,100 gaming properties do not permit smoking indoors. Earlier this month, Navajo Nation adopted legislation to make its four casinos permanently smokefree indoors. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in March that smokefree casino policies implemented over the last year have been a “silver lining” of the pandemic.
ABOUT AMERICANS FOR NONSMOKERS’ RIGHTS
Americans for Nonsmoker’s Rights (ANR) is a member-supported, non-profit advocacy group that has been working for 45 years, since 1976, to protect everyone’s right to breathe nontoxic air in workplaces and public places, from offices and airplanes to restaurants, bars, and casinos. ANR has continuously shined a light on the tobacco industry’s interference with sound and life-saving public health measures and successfully protected 61% of the population with local or statewide smokefree workplace, restaurant, and bar laws. ANR aims to close gaps in smokefree protections for workers in all workplaces, including bars, music venues, casinos, and hotels. For more information, please visit https://no-smoke.org/ and https://smokefreecasinos.org/.