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Atlantic City smokers enraged by ban

27 March 2008

ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey -- As reported by the Press of Atlantic City: "A cloud of smoke swirled around Patricia Miller's head as she used one hand to hold her cigarette and the other to push the spin button on a penny slot machine at Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort.

"Ever since casinos transformed the resort town into a gambling haven 30 years ago, smokers such as Miller have blithely puffed away while playing the slots and gaming tables.

"Now, there is a possibility that casino patrons may be relegated to smoking lounges where there is no gambling. City Council was poised Wednesday to vote on a complete smoking ban on the casino floor, but the measure was pulled from the agenda for further debate in two weeks.

"The thought of not being able to light up on the casino floor has enraged the smoking crowd. Smokers said they would refuse to be packed into airport-style smoking lounges.

"...Citing the dangers of secondhand smoke, City Council is prodding the casinos to build smoking lounges equipped with separate ventilation systems to prevent smoke from drifting throughout the building. Under a law that began last April, casinos are allowed to have smoking on 25 percent of the gaming floor. But some council members want to tighten the law to abolish smoking on the casino floor, allowing it only in designated lounges.

"Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, Tropicana Casino and Resort and the four Harrah's Entertainment Inc. properties - Harrah's, Bally's, Caesars and Showboat Casino Hotel - have already proposed building smoking lounges that would contain no gambling..."

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