Toxic casinos

At the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas this week, a group called Smoke-Free Gaming of America was present to sell its viewpoint.

The group’s chairwoman, cancer survivor Stephanie Steinberg, has said lawsuits will continue to mount as long as smoking is permitted in casinos.

Former casino worker Vince Rennich received a $4.5 million out of court settlement from the Tropicana Casino and Resort in Atlantic City last December. Harrah’s New Orleans Casino is dealing with a lawsuit from the mother of casino dealer Maceo Bevrotte, who died of cancer on March 9, 2010, after working at Harrah’s for more than a decade.

A few weeks ago in Las Vegas, a National Smokefree Gaming Symposium conference of casino workers, health officials, lawyers and anti-tobacco activists was held to plan strategies. Casinos in Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Montana, South Dakota, Washington and Puerto Rico are smoke-free.

One former Reno casino opened this week as CommRow, a no smoking/no gambling facility with restaurants. Its hotel will not open until next year.