Atlantic City Casino Smoking Ban Now Seen As Coming
Half of the state senators are now co-sponsoring legislation to enact the ban. Majority of Assembly members back the bill. Senate President Nicholas Scutari doesn't like smoking indoors. He thinks the industry and advocates will work together to get the law passed. The bill has the support of Gov. Phil Murphy and the Atlantic City Council. It has also the backing of majority of South Jersey Democrats. They are copping to the legislation.
The announcement on new co-sponsors was made on June 30. It's the last day of the state's fiscal year. Lawmakers spend months working on getting a budget passed. They disappear from Trenton until in September after Labor Day. i.e. after the summer. Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights vows to keep the issue front-and-center when legislators return to Trentons in the September.
A recent report by Las Vegas-based C3 Gaming found that a smoking ban does not harm the casino industry. The Casino Association of New Jersey claims that it would harm it economically. United Auto Workers union represents Atlantic City's table game dealers. They are concerned about the health risks of secondhand smoke. According to the CDC, second hand smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals.
A report commissioned by Spectrum Gaming warned of job losses and revenue declines if a smoking ban is implemented. The association president said it would put Atlantic City casinos at a competitive disadvantage with Pennsylvania casinos where smoking is permitted. A recent poll found 62% of state residents are in favor of a ban. Mayor Marty Small Sr. is aligned with casino executives' concerns.