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article imageAtlantic City Gamblers Have To Butt Out

By KJ Mullins     Apr 24, 2008 in World
Smoking at the casino will soon be a thing of the past at Atlantic City casinos. The City Council voted 9-0 in favor of a smoking ban at the gambling halls. A loophole in the statewide ban of public places had exempted casinos in the past.
The ban will take effect on October 15. That date gives the casinos enough time to add unstaffed smoking lounges if they see fit.
Casino workers are happy with the new ruling. Workers donning T-shirts with the slogan "Nobody deserves to work in an ashtray" gave the new ruling a round of applause.
"The employees of Atlantic City's casinos have hit a jackpot of their own tonight," said Dr. Arnold M. Baskies, chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society in New Jersey and New York. "Hardworking casino employees have been keeping Atlantic City's multibillion-dollar casino industry on a roll but have been gambling with their lives for far too long."
Nationwide smoking has been banned in more than two dozen states inside casinos. Eight of those states have a total ban of smoking inside of gambling halls while two others will place their bans in 2009.
The ban was blocked in New Jersey in January 2007 when the owners of the casinos pressured the council. They claimed that the ban would cut their revenue by 20 percent. The City Council then ruled that no more than 25 percent of gambling floor space could have smoking zones.
That ruling did not work because there were no rules that regulated for those spaces to be separated from other non-smoking areas.
Smokers themselves are divided on the new ruling.
More about Casinos, Atlantic city, Smoking
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