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Atlantic City Casinos to go 75 percent smoke free

By Chuckmonster on Tuesday, 23rd January 2007 6:01pm
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 0


Anti-smoking initiatives have been pummeling the casino industry for a while and it appears that Atlantic City casino industry has caved into a 75% smoke free atmosphere. 25% of the casino will be sealed up tight for smokers to enjoy their smoking.

Smokers would still be able to light up in parts of New Jersey's 11 casinos under a compromise plan to be introduced Wednesday night. The City Council in Atlantic City initially intended to vote on a measure that would have imposed a total ban on smoking in casinos, closing the last major loophole in New Jersey's sweeping public smoking law. But that measure was fiercely opposed by the casino industry, which predicted 3,400 jobs and 20 percent of the gaming halls' revenue could be lost as their patrons took their cigarettes _ and their money _ elsewhere.

Under the compromise proposal, crafted in conjunction with the casino industry, smoking would be banned on 75 percent of each casino's gaming floor. The remaining 25 percent would be walled off and equipped with powerful ventilation systems to suck smoke out of the air and carry it out of the building.

"I believe it's a win-win for everyone, including people who wanted smoking banned," said Councilman Dennis Mason. "They won. They got 75 percent of the place banned, and the casinos won a little, too, because their customers still get to smoke."

A total smoking ban would have made New Jersey the biggest gambling spot in the country to prohibit lighting up. Though there are bans in gambling sites in Massachusetts, Delaware and elsewhere, the better-known destinations such as Las Vegas, Biloxi, Miss., and many American Indian-run casinos allow smoking. Newly opened slots parlors in nearby Pennsylvania also permit smoking.

Areas where smoking would be permitted "would be fully enclosed, from floor to ceiling, behind closed doors," Mason said. "There's no way the smoke gets out. I'm told the air in there could be better than the air in the rest of the place."



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