Casino Cigarette Ban up in Smoke

Atlantic City delays smoking ban as economy sours and casino revenue stalls

If you want to enjoy the smoke-free environment at Atlantic City's 11 casinos, you have less than three weeks.

In a 5-4 vote last night, the City Council overturned a temporary smoking ban that took effect just 12 days ago.

Officials cited the worsening economy and revenue that had already been plunging at the casinos due to stiff competition from slots parlors in Pennsylvania and New York.

Mayor Scott Evans signed the measure, which will take effect in 20 days, on Nov. 16.

On that date, Atlantic City's casinos will revert to a previous arrangement under which smoking is permitted on no more than 25 percent of a casino floor.

Evans, who is leaving office next week, says he favors a nationwide smoking ban at all casinos.

But he says the financial crisis justifies putting off the smoking ban that he enthusiastically supported in the spring.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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