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Wednesday, July 17, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Wynn Casino Sued for Second-Hand Smoke

LAS VEGAS (CN) - A proposed class action seeks to force The Wynn Hotel and Casino to protect its workers on the casino floor from second-hand smoke. Kanie Kastroll, a dealer at the Wynn, says she suffers with asthma, and the "second-hand smoke she is exposed to ... exacerbates her condition."

Wynn "is aware of the health risks posed by exposure to second-hand smoke," but "has failed to adequately address the problem ... in the gaming area of its casino."

The hotel forbids dealers from designating certain tables as "smoke-free," and they can't request customers to blow smoke away from the table or to move their ashtrays, the lawsuit states. They're also told not to fan their hands at tobacco smoke.

Kastroll says the Wynn even encourages its customers to smoke. "Cocktail servers bring cigars and cigarettes to customers at the gaming tables," and that the hotel gives free smokes to gamblers.

"If a customer asks a dealer 'do you mind if I smoke?" Wynn ... prefers its dealers to answer 'no, not at all,' even if the tobacco smoke does in fact bother the dealer," according to the complaint. Kastroll says dealers who complain fear discipline or losing their jobs.

Accommodations are sometimes made for pregnant dealers, but only at the discretion of individual floor supervisors, the lawsuit states.

"Employees are frequently faced with a choice: quit their jobs or continue to expose themselves and their unborn children to second-hand smoke."

Second-hand smoke has been disgnated as a known carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Toxicology Program and the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

Kastroll says other casinos have voluntarily taken measures to reduce the amount of second-hand smoke their workers inhale.

The Bellagio, for example, installed an air filtration system to reduce the amount of second-hand smoke on its casino floor. The Palazzo built "smoke-free corridors" and designed 50 percent of its casino floor as non-smoking.

"Wynn Las Vegas, however, continues to gamble with its employees' health and welfare in order to cut costs and maintain the status quo," the lawsuit states.

Kastroll seeks an order requiring the hotel to "take reasonable measures to protect its employees from second-hand smoke." She is represented by Marc Cook with Bailus Cook.

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