casino smoking would be banned

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casino smoking would be banned

At the same time, a walk through the casinos at any time of day or night is a reminder of the way the world used to be. The air in sections of some casinos - especially the older ones, where the ventilation systems are not exactly state of the art - is a swirl of cigarette smoke, leaving a distinctive odor on the clothes of anyone who happens to stroll through the place.

Stephanie Steinberg, chairwoman of Smoke-Free Gaming - an organization of casino workers and patrons who are pressing casinos to ban smoking - said that while smoking was allowed in other casinos across the country, particularly on Indian reservations, Nevada had proved the most intractable. South Dakota approved a voter initiative this month to ban smoking in commercial casinos, joining Colorado, Delaware, Illinois and Montana in passing complete or partial bans.

"The problem with Nevada - and the reason it stands out as a smoking state - is because of the power and control the gaming industry has in the state," Ms. Steinberg said.

Smoking is banned in restaurants, shops, public hallways and other nongambling parts of casinos; yet it is hard to tell where the no-smoking area ends and the yes-smoking area begins. "The reality is there's no enforcement: People just walk around with cigarettes," Ms. Steinberg  said.

The lawsuit filed by casino workers against the Wynn argues that the atmosphere there posed a serious and direct threat to their health. But Jay Edelson, the lawyer for the lead plaintiff, Kanie Kastroll, a dealer for 20 years, said the redress being sought was limited. The workers, he said, are looking for corrective action, like cleaner air, not a full ban on smoking.

Ms. Kastroll said that dealers were often locked at tables for an hour at a time. "We get every kind of direct cigarette smoke, sometimes intentionally blown on us because they are losing," she said. "You're not allowed to fan, you can't blow it back on them. Forget the employee - it's all about their bottom line."

A lawyer for Wynn, James J. Pisanelli, declined comment.

The issue has stirred passion among some casino workers. Buffy McKinney, whose mother, Cheryl Rose, a casino executive, died of lung cancer this year at age 62, said she was Newport Cigarettes Carton Price convinced that her mother had died of secondhand smoke. "Until there is a handful of casinos who are willing to put their foot down and say enough is enough, they are going to continue to fight to keep smoking allowed there," she said.

Ms. Steinberg, for one, said she was confident that with time, even casino smoking would be banned. Until then, she said, her organization would rely on a tweak of Las Vegas's famous marketing slogan to try to rally gamblers to their cause, or at least away from cigarette packs: "What happens in a casino stays in your lungs."

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