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The new rules went into effect on Friday morning, just before Memorial Day weekend.
At Bally’s Twin River Lincoln and Tiverton casinos in Rhode Island, smoking will no longer be permitted at table games. Workers have been trying to get smoking in casinos banned, noting health hazards associated with secondhand smoke.
In a statement by spokeswoman Patti Doyle, Doyle stated: “Customers who wish to smoke must leave the table and use a smoking receptacle on the outer perimeter of the table games area.”
She continued: “We have posted signage and ashtrays have been removed at the tables.”
A bill introduced by Rep. Teresa Tanzi, D-Narragansett, will look to repeal the state law that allows casinos to be exempt from the ban on smoking in workplaces.
Representatives from Bally’s expressed opposition to the bill, stating that there are already smoke-free areas in both casinos. However, the new proposed bill could eliminate smoking entirely from within the casino.
Smoking underwent a temporary ban when casinos were first reopened after the pandemic. However, these rules and bans were lifted in March of 2022.
The Twin River casino was also accused by 70 employees of violating federal and state fair labor laws in April. The employees claim that the company failed to pay them adequate overtime wages and systematically undercut their weekly paychecks.
Chip Muller, one of the lawyers representing the plaintiffs stated: “We think there’s substantial money involved.”
The lawsuit alleges that the casino simply paid employees one-and-a-half times a lower service rate for overtime hours. The workers are looking to the court to determine whether the casino has miscalculated their overtime wages.
In other news concerning Bally’s in Rhode Island, the casinos have sued the towns of Lincoln and Tiverton. Bally’s claims that the properties it owns were over-assessed due to COVID-19 and that its property taxes should be reduced.