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Atlantic City Casino Smoking Under Fire, Again

As Atlantic City casino revenues continue to plunge at a record pace, New Jersey lawmakers are considering an amendment that would once again eliminate smoking from casino floors.

The proposal would remove the exemption casinos enjoy under the New Jersey Smoke-Free Air Act, passed in 2006. The new legislation would trump the current Atlantic City Council law, which restricts smoking in casinos to 25 percent of the floor.

The desire to eliminate smoking in Atlantic City's casinos is not new. The Atlantic City Council has tried three times, unsuccessfully, to rid the floor of smokers.

Last October, the council passed a smoking ban that eliminated smoking entirely in casinos only to overturn the law 12 days after it went into effect.

An Associated Press report stated that after the city council ban went into effect October 15, casino revenue dropped 19.5 percent between Oct. 17 and Oct. 24.

News of a stricter ban could not have come at a worse time for Atlantic City's casino industry. A report Tuesday by the New Jersey Casino Control Commission notes that February revenue was down 19.2 percent compared to the same month a year ago.

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