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Make-your-own laws for high rollers

| July 8, 2013

Health groups have blasted a bid by James Packer’s Crown Ltd. to allow smoking across the entire gaming floor of its proposed Sydney casino, an area that could be as large as two and a half rugby league fields, according to a story in The Sydney Morning Herald.

The NSW Cancer Council’s manager of tobacco control, Scot Walsberger, said the organization was “disappointed” in the NSW government’s conditional approval of the proposal and said potential employees would have to choose “between a job at the casino and their health.”

Crown’s proposal, conditionally accepted by NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell on Thursday, described allowing smoking in the gaming area as “absolutely critical.”

The company has proposed a 24-hour-a-day gaming area of up to 20,000 square metres.

Crown’s Sydney rival, The Star, enjoys a similar exemption from NSW laws in its high roller areas, and Crown’s Melbourne high-roller area, the Mahogany Room, is exempt from Victorian anti-smoking laws.

Quit Victoria Executive Director Fiona Sharkie said the move was “extremely concerning” and accused Crown of “putting profit before the health of their staff and consumers.”

Category: Breaking News

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