Atlantic City casino smoking ban delayed

There have been no serious discussions on the anti-smoking legislation in the Senate.
There have been no serious discussions on the anti-smoking legislation in the Senate.

New Jersey’s politicians are in no hurry to consider a bill that would permanently ban smoking in Atlantic City’s casinos.

US.- Atlantic City’s nine casinos won’t ban smoking any time soon it seems. New Jersey senate president Stephen Sweeney has confirmed there have been no serious discussions about the anti-smoking legislation. His statement comes after anti-smoking campaigners urged New Jersey’s lame-duck legislature to pass the bill.

We haven’t even started to talk about it, really, in any deep dialogue,” Sweeney said before a ceremony for the opening of a supermarket in Atlantic City.

However, Governor Phil Murphy, who earlier this month won re-election, has said he will sign the measure if lawmakers approve it. 

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network released a poll it commissioned that showed New Jersey residents favour banning smoking in the casinos by a margin of greater than 2-to-1. While smoking is banned in most indoor locations, Atlantic City’s casinos remain exempt.

Robin Vitulle, a dealer supervisor in Atlantic City for more than 36 years, said: “We’re glad that New Jersey voters agree that we should not have to choose between our health and a paycheck.

“From our experiences, our customers have no problem stepping outside to smoke because they must do so everywhere else. Then they come back inside and continue to gamble.

We cannot wait any longer for clear air in our workplace and we urge the legislature to finally act to close the casino loophole.”

In April, Atlantic City casinos voiced opposition to the proposed ban on indoor smoking. The Casino Association of New Jersey, the lobbying group that represents the nine casinos, said: “Banning smoking permanently would have long-term financial implications for the industry and the region.

“Going completely nonsmoking would place Atlantic City casinos at a competitive disadvantage with other nearby casinos that allow smoking.”

According to the group, casinos have guaranteed the air quality inside venues by investing in state-of-the-art air filtration systems that circulate fresh air.

See also: Atlantic City revenue up 31% against August 2020

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