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Atlantic City smoking ban lifted

17 November 2008

ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey -- As reported by the Press of Atlantic City: "Carol Kallaur nursed a Marlboro Light as she tapped a finger on her Hilton slot machine Sunday night. She wasn't excited or relieved to have regained the privilege to smoke inside an Atlantic City casino, something local law restored earlier in the day for at least a year.

"...The smoking-permitted and no-smoking signs themselves were evidence of how impermanent the rules have been. Small square stickers and new sign posts in Trump Plaza seemed as numerous as the longer-tenured engraved metal plaques.

"On Oct. 15, smokers were forced outdoors or, at nine of 11 casinos, to enclosed lounges. Twelve days later, a split City Council pushed back the ban to help casinos mitigate their customer losses. Revenue was off almost 20 percent in the week after the ban took hold, according to the New Jersey Casino Control Commission.

"Casinos may now revert to the previous law that restricts smoking to 25 percent of the gaming floor.

"...So far this year, the casinos have won $3.9 billion, down 6.6 percent from the same period last year. This year will be the second in a row that revenues have declined in Atlantic City, after 28 years of consecutive increases..."

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