Ahead of Senate hearing, casino workers to rally in support of bill that would ban smoking

Bally's Twin River Lincoln. (WLNE)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — Rhode Island casino workers will meet in support of a bill that would completely ban smoking on Thursday.

The Rhode Island Senate Committee on Finance will consider S438, legislation introduced by lawmakers earlier this year to get rid of smoking inside casinos.

The House Committee on Finance met last month to hear H5237, a companion bill that would remove the exemption for casinos from the state’s smokefree workplace law.

“You’re on your game trying to deal, the beverage servers are serving drinks, someone’s got a lit cigarette two or three feet from your head,” a table games dealer told ABC 6 News last spring. “There are some places in America where you can’t smoke on the sidewalk, but you can come into my workplace and do it right next to my head?”

Smoking was not allowed at some casinos in the state during the COVID-19 pandemic, and now many employees want a full ban.

Lawmakers, nonsmokers’ rights activists, and the Rhode Island chapter of Casino Employees Against Smoking Effects will rally to protect the health of workers.

The meeting will be held at 3:15 p.m. on the north steps of the State House.


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