Saturday, March 21, 2009

Time to Ban Smoking in CA's Indian Casinos?

We can't smoke indoors, we can't smoke outside at the beach, we can't even smoke in our cars if we have our kids in the backseat can we?

Then WHY are employees of CA's Indian casinos subject to the dangers of second hand smoke by the patrons of casinos?

Shouldn't the unions be organizing these employees? Why aren't they stressing a safe work environment as a reason to organize? Why wait for card-check?

What do you think? Should smoking be banned from all casinos? Don't smoke and gamble?

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

YES!!...smoking should be banned...did you know that Pechanga makes their employees sign a waiver?..they must say that they know that they are working in a smoke filled environment and agree not to hold Pechanga liable for harm!!...whats also funny is that they say that they cant give booze for free because California wont let them...so why the smoke...California doesnt allow that either....its all about money with them...they charge a fortune for the drinks and $6 a pack for the cigs....on which they probably dont even have to pay the State tax on...which is a major part of the price on cigs!!..is it legal for the employees to sign their rights away?..witrh all the money the tribe spreads to Arnold and many other politicians...they make sure that they are left alone...greedy a-holes!!

snowbird said...

Government power the real health hazard


The bandwagon of local smoking bans now steamrolling across the nation has nothing to do with protecting people from the supposed threat of "second-hand" smoke.

Indeed, the bans are symptoms of a far more grievous threat, a cancer that has been spreading for decades and has now metastasized throughout the body politic, spreading even to the tiniest organs of local government. This cancer is the only real hazard involved – the cancer of unlimited government power.

The issue is not whether second-hand smoke is a real danger or is in fact just a phantom menace, as a study published recently in the British Medical Journal indicates. The issue is: If it were harmful, what would be the proper reaction? Should anti-tobacco activists satisfy themselves with educating people about the potential danger and allowing them to make their own decisions, or should they seize the power of government and force people to make the "right" decision?

Supporters of local tobacco bans have made their choice. Rather than trying to protect people from an unwanted intrusion on their health, the bans are the unwanted intrusion.

Loudly billed as measures that only affect "public places," they have actually targeted private places: restaurants, bars, nightclubs, shops and offices – places whose owners are free to set anti-smoking rules or whose customers are free to go elsewhere if they don't like the smoke. Some local bans even harass smokers in places where their effect on others is negligible, such as outdoor public parks.

The decision to smoke, or to avoid "second-hand" smoke, is a question to be answered by each individual based on his own values and his own assessment of the risks. This is the same kind of decision free people make regarding every aspect of their lives: how much to spend or invest, whom to befriend or sleep with, whether to go to college or get a job, whether to get married or divorced, and so on.

All of these decisions involve risks; some have demonstrably harmful consequences; most are controversial and invite disapproval from the neighbours. But the individual must be free to make these decisions. He must be free because his life belongs to him, not to his neighbours, and only his own judgment can guide him through it.

Yet when it comes to smoking, this freedom is under attack. Smokers are a numerical minority, practising a habit considered annoying and unpleasant to the majority. So the majority has simply commandeered the power of government and used it to dictate their behaviour.

That is why these bans are far more threatening than the prospect of inhaling a few stray whiffs of tobacco while waiting for a table at your favourite restaurant. The anti-tobacco crusaders point in exaggerated alarm at those wisps of smoke while they unleash the unlimited intrusion of government into our lives. We do not elect officials to control and manipulate our behaviour.

John said...

Earlier today, I visited with my girlfriend and son, the Chuckchansi Casino near Fresno and was appaled at how the Indian Tribe seems to have been able to flout or avoid the CA smoking bans in effect everywhere else in CA. It truly was a nauseous experience and should be stomped on immediately.

I read Snowbirds comments and really, if you still don't believe that second hand smoke kills people, you are still living in the 1960's. In fact, many studies have shown that to be worse because that smoke is unfiltered.

But the problem with the tribes and smokers are that they are a match made in heaven. Smokers seem naturally attracted to this environment, a place where they can just sit on their backsides and play blackjack, slots and roulette and the tribes can rake in their cash. So the only people that can realistically step in and get in the middle of this cosy relationship and protect employees is in fact government and it would seem that as Anonymous states, they simply have waived their laws in this case, presumably because they are well compensated for doing so.

Bottom line, if you value your health and want to live longer, stay out of CA casinos and lobby legal and state officials on behalf of employees who appear to have no rights and are scared to rock the boat for fear of their jobs.

'aamokat said...

Personally, when I used to spend a lot of time in the Pechanga casino and over at the neighboring Pala casino and my chest and throat felt tight and congested a lot of the time and now that I really can't afford to gamble anymore I feel better.

In my opinion second hand smoke definitly has something to do with health problems.

I realize that my personal experience is not a study but as a non smoker I should not be experiencing problems that smokers have so my conclusion is second hand smoke was the culprit.

When I used to go to the Pechanga casino I would ask the employees if they had a non smoking section and of course the company line is that there is a section set aside for non smokers but this section is bordered on both sides by smoking areas with no walls in between so if I sat in that section for a while I still came out of the casino with my hair and clothes stinking like cigarettes and with my throat and chest tight.

So there is no non smoking section.

Interesting that California casinos have to enforce the over 21 law to sell booze so they aren't totally independent of state law.

White Buffalo said...

Hello everyone, I must admit that I am a smoker, yet I have enough common sense to know that my smoking does affect those who do not. My personal belief is that I do not smoke indoors nor do I smoke in public places where there are a lot of people who are in smelling range of my fumes.

The workers at the casinos are signing these waivers because they need the work not because they want to. It is sad that we smokers think that it is our god given right to smoke where we please. This notion is what caused the government interference in our personal freedoms. The issue would not even exist if smokers exercised their freedom to not smoke. I don't smoke when I go to Pala not because I don't want to. It is because the people that I go with do not smoke, and there is plenty of smoke to go around on the gamming floor.

Anonymous said...

Does Pechanga allow smoking in their membership meetings and the government building?

Anonymous said...

You know I don't know if Pechanga allows smoking in their meetings or in the government building.

I don't think they do as I never saw anyone smoking in the building or at any meetings.

In fact, people went outside to smoke so I must assume that smoking is not allowed in the building.

I have never smoked so it didn't dawn on me to consider if smoking was allowed in the government building or not.

If smoking is not allowed in the government building I wonder what would be the reaction of the government officials and employees if people were lighting up cigaretttes in the their workplace.

My bet is that officials and employees of the tribal government wouldn't want their health adversely effected by second hand smoke.

Anonymous said...

Snowbird seems to think that the only people deserving rights are the smokers....you see snowbird..a non-smoker has no rights when smoking is allowed...a smoker can go either way...smoke or no smoke...us non-smokers who enjoy gambling are screwed...and please dont say that the casinos have non-smoking areas...there are no walls and they put the machines that no one else wants to play in the non-smoking areas..and very few have any non-smoking tables..should we also allow glue-sniffing in the casinos snowbird?..its perfectly legal to buy glue...would it bother you to smell that right next to you while you gamble?..

Clean Air Needed said...

I thought that the casinos had scrubber type air conditioning. But when I went to Pechanga, you could smell the smoke all over.

They need to do a better job.

Still, if they don't allow it in their own government buildings, why would they subject their customers to it?

Maybe it would be better to have a SMOKING section in the casino, where double doors would separate it from the rest. And then, the smokers could get both first and second hand smoke and leave the rest of us to breathe cleaner air.

Anonymous said...

Dear clean air..it wouldnt really matter...they just stack the non-smoking areas with the reject machines..if you are a $1 or $5 slot player..they wont have any machines in that area...dont know why..they cater to the smokers..maybe its because they are so inteested in getting the Asian players into the casinos...they bring in busloads..and most of them are chain smokers...it is a real problem at Pechanga,,they bring in these people who just stand and stare at you while you play..and stand behind you and smoke...I complained several times to management and they said there is nothing they can do...i have tried to ask these people to please leave and they get angry and tell me to go to hell...the employees at Pechanga said that these bus people come in and take all the free drinks without tipping and go and steal all of the toilet paper out of the bathrooms!!...they go around in groups and mostly watch....dont know what the casino gets out of it...and who pays for the bus's and insurance..etc??..some days I hear that they bring in 40 to 60 bus-fulls...and also.. "clean air"...what good are scrubbers when the smoke is blowing right into your face from the overhead fans?..someone should get the EPA into the casino and check the smoke content at Pechanga...they could probably call a smog alert and evacuate the place...what a stinky casino.

Anonymous said...

hey..if they are selling the cigs at the casino with the State tax built in and arent having to pay state sales tax,,,isnt that illegal?

Anonymous said...

The only casino I have seen with a good non smoking section is Pala. Went to Pauma last week and really got the smoke up the nose and in the throat especially when the person next to me won any jackpot. Waving my hand and moving my nose out of the way didn't deter this smoker. Sometimes I am forced to leave a good machine because I just can't take smoke curley cues going up my nose.

'aamokat said...

But I understand that even at Pala they are taking down the enclosed walls of their non smoking section so the non smokers will be breathing the same smokey air that everyone else does.

I hear Valley View, owned by the San Pasqual tribe who has disenrolled some of their people, has a good non smoking section but I will not go there because of the disenrollments.

Anonymous said...

Not only that Aamokat...Valley Views non-smoking is set up for penny and nickel players...on the commercials they say they have the same machines in the non-smoking area, but theere is not one $1 or higher machine in the area....and now that I read here that they are dis-enrolling...that is another casino that I will boycott...Pechanga used to be my favorite until I came to this site...now I stay away and take my thousands a week elsewhere!

employee said...

Now when an employee calls in sick it is called an occurance you get 2 emergencys and 7 call in and they fire you. So if you have COPD or any breathing problems you will be gone with in a year. Yes the casino should be forced to become smoke free, but that won't happen.
They are just trying to get rid of older employees.
That way they can hire younger employees for less money.

'aamokat said...

I am surprised about how few people know that the San Pasqual tribe owns the Valley View casino.

Readers, check out the stories of the goings on with the San Pasqual tribe on this page and in the archives and please don't patronize the Valley View casino until this tribe makes things right and abides by the BIA decision to reinstate those that are known to be true San Pasqual Indians.

Anonymous said...

I was reading in the papaer this morning about the new tax increase on cigarettes...in the article it said that people would just go to the reservations and buy the cigs and save $2 a pack....which brings me back to a question....I know that they charge full price in the casino to the patrons...do they pay the tax to the state or just charge it and pocket the extra money..?? California needs to look into that!!!

'aamokat said...

That I don't know, I am not a smoker and sorry but I didn't pay attention to what was going on with the sale of cigarettes.

Anonymous, you are right, it is not fair if the tribe doesn't have to pay the tax if they still charge the full price and pockets the extra money.

Anonymous said...

If they collected tax they would owe the State hundreds of thousands of dollars with all the smokers in that joint!!...

Anonymous said...

The only way to get back at these crooks is to hit them in the pocketbook...what authorities can we contact about tax issues and these tribes?..

Anonymous said...

I have COPD due to my job and have been working at tribal casinos since I was 18. I love to excersize, but it is now too painful to breathe. There is NO CURE for COPD it is PERMANENT lung damage!!!! These tribes are extrememly arrogant, and Pechanga is the worst of the bunch. They literally own the state politicians. Every time the feds want to step up, we get the "sovereign nation" guilt trip. Funny....state and county police patrol these "sovereign" casinos at the invitation of the tribes and enforce California Penal Codes. Don't waste your time with the state...we need to mobilize for FEDERAL anti-smoking protection, especially with a president and congress hostile to smoking now.

Anonymous said...

If you dont like the smoking then don't go to the casino or go to a casino that has banned smoking. Nobodys making you go or work there. Its native american property and they can do what they want. We took this land from them. Its there right to do what they want with it and its your right to not participate if you dont like it. More personal freedom. Less goverment!

Anonymous said...

You are all a bunch of god damn pussies. Smoke in the casinos for life. Don't like it, don't go, simple. People are always trying to give our freedoms away.

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Dent said...

Hello Admin,
Such a good, wonderful post. Yes it is so much in need to stop smoking. I don't know after knowing all the bad effects how do people can smoke.
Thanks for sharing.

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