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City Council supports casino smoking ban bill
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City Council supports casino smoking ban bill

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On September 12th 2020, In Atlantic City, with the casinos no longer allowed to have indoor smoking per Governor Murphy's order, smokers now have to vacate the building to light up. Two men enjoy a cigarette outside of Ocean Casino.

ATLANTIC CITY – The City Council passed resolutions at its Aug. 25 meeting supporting a bill to ban smoking in Atlantic City casinos.

The smoking ban resolution was in support of Senate Bill 1878. The bill eliminates smoking ban exemption for casinos and simulcasting facilities.

Casinos had been operating smoke-free for nearly one year after a temporary ban was initiated by Gov. Phil Murphy in July 2020 following COVID-19 related closures. That ban ended in July.

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On June 30, more than 50 casino workers and representatives from Smoke Free Atlantic City and the United Auto Workers gathered on the Boardwalk for the same cause.

Demonstrators wore matching T-shirts and held signs displaying slogans such as “Save my lungs” and “Casino employees’ lives matter.” Demonstrators also marched along the Boardwalk chanting, “Smoke Free A.C.!”

The 2007 New Jersey Smoke-Free Air Act eliminated indoor smoking for nearly all establishments throughout the state but granted an exemption for Atlantic City’s gambling halls. The city passed an ordinance that same year restricting casino smoking to no more than 25% of the gaming floor.

Those in favor of smoke-free casinos call this “loophole” discriminatory to casino employees.

The Casino Association of New Jersey, a trade group, opposes a permanent smoking ban, saying it could lead to fewer customers, fewer casino jobs and lower tax revenue.

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