Clean Indoor Air Act To Be Enacted And Enforced At Pennsylvania Casinos
HARRISBURG: The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board announced today that the agency and the seven operating casinos are prepared to follow the guidelines of the Commonwealth’s Clean Indoor Air Act, a law which takes effect on September 11, 2008.
The act not only prohibits smoking in most public places, including restaurants and the workplace, but also prohibits smoking on at least 75 percent of the casino floor. Penalties will be imposed for individuals who smoke in prohibited areas.
“At the Board’s request, each casino has filed an updated gaming floor plan with the Office of Gaming Operations that clearly reflects that no more than 25 percent of the approved gaming floor permits smoking,” says Acting Executive Director Frank Donaghue. “Board staff have reviewed the plans and confirmed that they are in conformance with the Clean Indoor Air Act’s requirements.”
The new law provides a process that would enable a casino to increase the smoking area to include up to 50 percent of the floor:
• 90 days after the effective date of the Act (December 10, 2008) or 90 days after a new facility opens, slot machine licensees shall request a report from the Department of Revenue that analyzes the gross terminal revenue per slot machine unit in operation at the licensed facility within the 90-day period.
• PGCB must verify the report.
• If the report shows the average gross terminal revenue (“GTR”) per slot machine in the designated smoking area exceeds the average GTR per slot machine in the designated non-smoking area, the licensee may increase the designated smoking area in proportion to the percentage difference in revenue.
The Board’s Director of Casino Compliance, Thomas Sturgeon, says the PGCB will be part of a multi-agency effort in making sure that both the casino and patrons comply with the new law.
“We are working with the State Police, Liquor Control Board, and Departments of Health, Agriculture and Revenue to ensure there is compliance with the Act,” Sturgeon says. “Meanwhile, our own Casino Compliance Representatives at each facility will diligently monitor compliance at each of the seven casinos and ensure that smoking is occurring only in designated areas.”
Sturgeon adds that, as required by the new law, all casinos have marked the designated areas that are smoking and non-smoking.
“Any patron that is unsure of where a designated smoking area begins or ends can always gain assistance from a PGCB Casino Compliance Representative or a casino employee.”
For more information about the PA Gaming Control Board, you can visit its website at www.pgcb.state.pa.us.