Senators refloat Atlantic City casino smoking ban

 A group of legislators aims to find support for an across-the-board smoking ban at Atlantic City casinos.
A group of legislators aims to find support for an across-the-board smoking ban at Atlantic City casinos.

Six state senators have reintroduced a bill that would ban smoking at the nine Atlantic City casinos.

US.- A group of six New Jersey state senators is proposing a new bill, S264, which, if passed, would permanently ban smoking in casinos in Atlantic City. The bill has been referred to the Senate Health Committee. The Casino Association of New Jersey (CANJ) have warned that forcing smokers outside could turn away customers.

There’s been debate on banning smoking at Atlantic City casinos for years. A temporary ban, was imposed in 2020 because of the pandemic, but was lifted in July last year. Casinos have largely remained opposed to a permanent ban. However, a bipartisan group of legislators is now once again seeking support for an across-the-board smoking ban at the casinos.

Governor Phil Murphy has said that he would sign such a bill, ending the exemption for casinos in New Jersey’s public health law, which already prohibits smoking in virtually all other indoor places.

Cynthia Hallett, president and CEO of Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights, said in a statement: “We applaud this bipartisan group of legislators from across New Jersey who understand that worker health must be a priority.

“Atlantic City casino workers made the most of the lame-duck session to grow legislative support for closing the casino smoking loophole that puts their health at risk.”

See also: Atlantic City casino smoking ban delayed

In December casino workers in Atlantic City, New Jersey, expressed their anger with the New Jersey Legislature after lawmakers implemented tax breaks for casinos rather than move forward with a smoking ban. A group of workers from the city’s nine casinos marched to the state capitol in Trenton to form a protest.

“Why doesn’t the state of New Jersey care about us?’ asked Lamont White, a Borgata dealer who has worked in Atlantic City casinos for 36 years. “Why is the (Legislature) focused on tax cuts for the casinos rather than the health of their workers? Please, don’t leave us behind in the smoke.”

See also: New Jersey governor signs PILOT bill for Atlantic City casinos

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