Smoke Returning to Atlantic City

Atlantic City lawmakers voted last night to overturn a blanket-smoking ban and allow casino smoking again, only 12 days after the ban went into effect.

The ruling, which takes effect Nov. 16 and will last for at least a year, allows casinos to revert to the previous provision that permits gamblers to smoke on no more than 25 percent of a casino floor.

Casino owners had vehemently opposed the new ban and called for immediate action from the City Council. Owners cited already-plunging revenues as their main argument for overturning the ban.

Atlantic City casino numbers have been steadily declining for about a year. A recent report showed that the amount casinos won from gamblers dropped 15.1 percent in September when compared to the same month a year ago.

After the ban went into effect Oct. 15, casino revenue, according to an Associated Press report, dropped 19.5 percent in the seven-day period between Oct. 17 and Oct. 24.

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