AC smoking ban lifted
Smokers and casino owners rejoice!
“After a month of fresh air, smoking is once again allowed inside Atlantic City’s 11 casinos.
The City Council had passed a total smoking ban in April, but then the financial meltdown rocked the economy and led to even steeper declines at the casinos. The council changed its mind at the last moment and agreed to repeal the smoking ban for at least a year, but couldn’t legally stop the no-smoking rules from taking effect on Oct. 15.
The ban expired a minute after midnight Sunday (November 17, 2008), and gamblers can now light up again.
Some casino workers feel betrayed by the council’s reversal, but many gamblers and casino operators are pleased. Trump Entertainment Resorts CEO Mark Juliano says at least now there’s an even playing field with out-of-state slot parlors.”
From the AP.
See previous updates after the jump…
From the AP:
Smokers may rejoice!
“The latest casualty of the economic crisis may be the ban on smoking in Atlantic City casinos. The City Council moved Wednesday night to postpone for a year a law that was to take effect next week banning smoking from the gambling floor. A final vote will be held in two weeks.
The council was showered with boos as it narrowly gave the delay preliminary approval. One person in the packed chambers shouted that the council “gave us a death sentence.”
The casinos and the head of their largest workers union asked the council to put the ban on hold until the economy improves. They fear deep losses and significant layoffs if smokers take their money elsewhere. Some casinos in nearby states do not restrict smoking.”
For the smokers and gamblers that read Hoboken411, you might be interested that voting on the bill to completely ban smoking on casino floors in Atlantic City is set to take place at 5pm today.
Atlantic City Casino Smoking Ban
“We’re cautiously optimistic,” said Michelle Holcomb, spokeswoman for the American Cancer Society. “You never know in a world of politics. We’ve seen it already, you can’t ever really predict what people are going to do.”
But council, which unanimously approved the measure on first reading two weeks ago, is expected to see it through today. The bill would allow industry officials to erect enclosed, separately ventilated smoking rooms in other parts of the casino, which would not require personnel.
“I’ve had no further requests from the industry to modify what is currently the ordinance as drafted,” Councilman Bruce Ward said Tuesday.
Non-smoking advocates and rallying casino workers have already seen plans for full bans changed in the 11th hour, but Ward says circumstances are different this time.
“Here I think we have a different posture than we did a year ago where the industry has jointly accepted the compromise,” Ward said.
After strong opposition from gaming executives pushed City Council to loosen its plans from a full ban to a partial ban in 2007, casino inaction prompted council to reintroduce the full ban.
City Council had intended to impose a deadline in 90 days, insisting the casinos have already been given enough time to develop plans for enclosed smoking areas. Resort officials, however, backed off that deadline after discussions with industry representatives, instead allowing six months.”