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Skycity Hamilton Ready For Smokefree

Skycity Hamilton Ready For Smokefree

SKYCITY Hamilton said today that it is well prepared for the introduction of smoke free legislation on 10 December 2004 and that a smooth transition is expected as the days count down to the enactment of the new law.

Under the Smokefree Environments Amendment Act 2003, from 10 December 2004, no smoking is permitted inside any workplace. Smoking will be restricted to open-air venues.

SKYCITY Hamilton General Manager, Phil Keber, said that smokefree legislation has been inevitable for some time and that outdoor balconies located around the complex and overlooking the riverbank, will become the complex’s designated smoking areas under the new law.

“SKYCITY Hamilton opened in September 2002 with a balcony outside The Post Buffet Restaurant. Two more outdoor balconies were recently constructed for access from the Number Eight Bar and from the main gaming floor to accommodate the smokefree law,” said Mr Keber.

“This week, we will continue to progressively phase out our internal smoking areas. When we open at 9am on Thursday 9 December, we will already be smokefree so that come midnight, our staff and customers will be accustomed to the changes at SKYCITY Hamilton.”

Mr Keber adds that staff have been trained and will be instrumental in assisting customers to understand the new legislation and how it affects them.

“We’re not expecting any major concerns or issues for staff or customers. Quite simply, under the new legislation, staff and customers will still be able to smoke if they choose to – they will just be limited to the new outdoor smoking areas.”

Although there are obvious benefits with the new smoke free legislation (including a healthier working environment for staff, cleaning and ventilation cost reductions) Mr Keber says that SKYCITY is aware that there is likely to be a downside for the business, but that it is likely to be short lived.

The SKYCITY Group has estimated an approximate $10 million impact across its operations this financial year as a direct result of the new smoke free legislation. However as evidenced by overseas experience, this is expected to abate within 12 months.

As well as the designated smoking balconies, other changes at SKYCITY Hamilton from 10 December will include the removal of cigarette vending machines as the new law requires stricter rules around the sale and promotion of cigarettes. From 10 December, cigarettes will be sold at SKYCITY behind the counter at the Number Eight Bar.

SKYCITY has also progressively installed signage throughout the complex to direct smoking customers to the nearest smoking area. Universal language signs show areas that are smoking with a picture of a cigarette in a green circle and for non smoking zones, a picture of a cigarette in a red circle. For smoking staff, SKYCITY Hamilton will continue to provide a separate outdoor designated smoking area (at the back of the building). For those keen to give up the habit, SKYCITY has promoted the national Quitline, offering advice and support as well as heavily discounted vouchers for staff wishing to purchase nicotine gum and patches.

Mr Keber says SKYCITY saw the introduction of smoke free as an opportunity to contribute to the welfare of its staff by getting alongside the nation’s leading treatment provider and putting in place a cost effective process for those willing to give up their smoking habit.

“Staff simply phone up the Quitline with proof of their employee details to receive two months supply of nicotine replacement for just $15, which would normally cost around $200,” he said.

From 9 am on Thursday 9 December, SKYCITY Hamilton’s smoking balconies will be located: Outside The Post restaurant Off the Number Eight Bar Off the gaming floor
At SKYCITY Auckland, eight new outdoor smoking balconies have been constructed to become the new designated smoking areas and at SKYCITY Queenstown Casino, the existing outdoor decks will be utilised.

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