House Bill 1657, known as Protecting the Workers from Second-hand Smoke Act is one step closer to banning indoor smoking in Pennsylvania’s casinos.
Led by Allegheny County Democratic Rep. Dan Frankel, the bill aims to create a cleaner and safer environment for both employees and patrons by eliminating smoking inside casinos.
The Bill has progressed through the initial stages and is scheduled for a crucial health committee meeting on November 15th.
At the health committee meeting, 25 committee members comprised of 14 Democrats and 11 Republicans, will have the opportunity to offer amendments to the bill, which will receive votes individually.
Frankel is confident, however, that the bill will receive bipartisan support and hopes for its approval from Governor Josh Shapiro by March or April. He emphasised that he does not bring a bill forward without certainty.
Despite Frankel’s optimism, the bill’s timeline still remains unclear, it was stressed that should the bill reach its final destination on the desk of the governor, Frankel harbours great confidence in Shapiro’s support.
He brought his objectives into context by underscoring the importance of prioritising public health and safety in Pennsylvania’s thriving casino industry.
Parx Casino has already demonstrated that a smoke-free environment can improve numerous aspects of a casino’s success.
Both of Parx’s venues, in Bensalem and Shippensburg, have remained smoke-free since the pandemic. According to Parx’s Chief Marketing Officer, Marc Oppenheimer, success has come in the form of improved employee morale and reduced healthcare costs.
Frankel’s initiative aims to protect workers and patrons that are both smokers and non-smokers alike, from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke and as a result challenge existing loopholes in the Clean Indoor Air Act of 2008.
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