Rivers Casino Philadelphia Lifts Indoor Smoking Ban

Written By Nicholaus Garcia on January 27, 2023
Rivers Pennsylvania casino brings back indoor smoking

Rivers Casino Philadelphia is doing away with its indoor smoking ban. As it stands, Parx Casino and Parx Shippensburg are the only Pennsylvania casinos that are entirely smoke-free indoors.

An announcement on the Rivers Casino Facebook page mentioned that designated smoking areas are back on the gaming floor. Rivers Philadelphia follows Mount Airy Casino, which also reinstated indoor smoking

Indoor smoking returning to Rivers Casino Philadelphia gaming floor

On the Rivers Casino Philadelphia Facebook page, the company announced several new features for 2023. The new features include:

  • New upgrades and member benefits
  • A new Italian-American steakhouse
  • New pizza shop
  • VIP lounge serving small plates and drinks
  • Pulse arena with electronic table games
  • Designated smoking areas on the gaming floor

Speaking with PlayPennsylvania, general manager Justin Moore said bringing back smoking is the “final step” in returning the property to pre-COVID operations. 

“In accordance with state guidelines, approximately 50% of the gaming floor is designated for smoking. Smoking is not permitted in other areas of the casino that are not designated for smoking, such as restaurants, The Event Center, or table games.”

Moore continued: “The casino has a state-of-the-art indoor air filtration system to ensure the comfort of all guests and team members.”

Air filtration does not prevent dangers of secondhand smoke exposure

Parx Casino holds the title of the state’s only completely smoke-free indoor facility. Although two casinos in Pennsylvania have reversed course, some believe smoke-free progress will continue.

Chris Moyer, Founder and President of Moyer Strategies, which represents Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights, said:

“We’re still seeing across the country more and more casinos ending indoor smoking. We’re making incredible progress in New Jersey and elsewhere and we’re expanding the worker movement.”

According to the Pennsylvania Clean Indoor Air Act, smoking areas cannot exceed 50% of the square footage of the gaming floor.

In a memo sent to the Nevada Resort Association last August, The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) said: “The building and its systems can reduce only odor and discomfort but cannot eliminate exposure when smoking is allowed inside or near a building.”

Photo by PlayUSA
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Nicholaus Garcia

Nick Garcia is a senior reporter for PlayUSA. Garcia provides analysis and in-depth coverage of the gambling industry with a key focus on online casinos, sports betting and financial markets. Garcia has been covering the US gambling market since 2017. He attended Texas Tech University as an undergrad and received a Master of Arts in Journalism from Columbia College Chicago.

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