Change Of Plans: Amendments To PA Casino Smoking Bill Pulled From Agenda

Written By Corey Sharp on April 16, 2024
Black and white image of a man blowing smoke. A vote to amend the Pennsylvania casino smoking bill has been pulled from this week's agenda, according to Rep. Frankel's office.

A representative from Allegheny County Democratic Rep. Dan Frankel’s office told PlayPennsylvania on Tuesday that a vote on amendments to the Protecting Workers from Secondhand Smoke Act has been pulled from the agenda.

Frankel’s office told us last week that the vote would happen on Tuesday or Wednesday of this week. However, there have been concerns of getting enough votes to pass it through the House floor.

Smoking inside casinos across Pennsylvania, including neighboring state New Jersey, has been a controversial topic for years. It appears that the bill has been put on hold for now, as PA casino workers are forced to wait a little while longer.

Pennsylvania casinos smoking amendments not happening this week

After New Jersey casino workers filed a lawsuit against the state, Pennsylvania lawmakers picked up the urgency of the issue in its own state.

As of last week, the plan was to vote on amendments for the Protecting Workers from Secondhand Smoke Act. The result of the vote would not have moved it out of the House floor, though.

Despite that, at least action would have been taken. The bill has been sitting on the House floor since it passed through Committee last November. However, the bill has hit a snag.

“Unfortunately, it was just pulled from the agenda because some reps near Atlantic City raised concerns that we will need to work out to ensure that we have the votes,” Frankel’s office told PlayPennsylvania on Tuesday. “We just need to educate folks more, I think.”

Frankel’s office did not provide a timeline of getting the bill back on the agenda. We do know that it won’t be this week.

The representative also said that it has to present amendments to casino employees, which is incredibly important for the bill to move forward.

“Our guiding star is that it needs to prioritize the health and safety of workers, so their opinions weigh heavily,” Frankel’s office said.

Frankel’s self-imposed deadline in jeopardy

Rep. Frankel told PlayPennsylvania in November, before the the vote out of the House Committee, that he hoped the bill would land on Gov. Josh Shapiro‘s desk by March or April. That appears nearly impossible at this point.

Rep. Frankel introduced the bill last September to protect the health of Pennsylvania casino workers and close loopholes of the Clean Indoor Air Act of 2008. After introduction, the bill made good headway, only taking two months to be voted out of the House Committee and onto the floor.

The bill has been stagnant since, though. PlayPennsylvania reached out to Rep. Frankel’s office in February and told that there was no update.

While it looked like there was some urgency last week, the bill has been put back on the shelf.

Here are the rest of the steps for the bill to pass:

  • Pass it on the House floor
  • Send to Senate to go through above steps
  • Send to Senate floor

It could be awhile before smoking is banned inside Pennsylvania casinos.

Photo by PlayPennsylvania
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Corey Sharp

Corey Sharp is the Lead Writer at PlayPennsylvania bringing you comprehensive coverage of sports betting and gambling in Pennsylvania. Corey is a 4-for-4 Philly sports fan and previously worked as a writer and editor for the Philadelphia Inquirer and NBC Sports Philadelphia.

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