Casino smoking comes under a cloud

Crown Casino is a regulatory anomaly in many ways.   Smoking in workplaces has been a particularly difficult one for the casino.  When bans were first mooted the casino tried several control measures including air curtains between croupiers and smoking gamblers but the casino eventually agreed to be smoke-free, except in its high rollers venue, the Mahogany Room.

Now the poor air quality in that room is under threat due to one worker who, reportedly, seeking compensation for contracting lung cancer from her work activities.  According to a newspaper report four other employees are seeking relocation and have including the issue of smoking risks as one of the reasons.  Crown Casino has confirmed that smoking concerns have been raised.

A curious element of the article is the administrative processes required to support the requests for relocation.  There are requirements for a doctor’s certificate but “no requirement that [the relocation request] be linked to a health issue.”

Smoke free casinos has been a contentious issue for many years as any internet search will reveal but the issue can be seen as a useful indication of the competing political, social and moral pressures related to workplace safety.  Issues raised include the obligation on each of us over the impact of our actions on others, government’s conflict between revenue from taxes and the health of its citizens, a company’s need for profits at the risk of its employees health.

In discussing these issues and the relevance of “as far as is reasonably practicable” in OHS law, consider the issue of smoking in prisons and moral obligations.  There’s a challenge.

Kevin Jones

reservoir, victoria, australia

3 thoughts on “Casino smoking comes under a cloud”

  1. This is very clear cut to me, the government has banned smoking everywhere for a reason ( because its a killer). They tell us this in their advertisements against smoking, and they also make it very graphic, I mean there is no mistake its a killer, as they keep reminding us. However, passive smoke from people who seem to have a lot of money is OK because they can smoke in the high roller room of the casino, yet they can\’t smoke on the main floor of the casino. I just dont understand, we don\’t have to convince the government how dangerous it is. I work in this environment and would love to know why I\’m discriminated against by having to put up with the passive smoke, and how the government gets away with this. And where are the unions allowing this to continue. The belief that people will stop gambling if they can\’t smoke inside is ridiculous. These people will gamble 24/7 if they could. They\’d step outside to smoke, but their main addiction is gambling, nothing will stop them from that.

  2. I don\’t see why casinos can\’t be part smokefree and partly for smokers. That would give the employees the opportunity to choose in which section to work too. Of course, you might want to place workers who smoke themselves in the smoking sections, or pay the workers who end up working there a little bit extra. But it\’s still a lot cheaper than a lawsuit!

    1. OHS has a constant battle between individual rights and corporate obligations. The exposure of workers to environmental tobacco smoke in casinos is a classic case of OHS and ethics.

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