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Atlantic City to debate casino smoking ban again

19 October 2009

ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey -- As reported by The Press of Atlantic City: "Smoke swirled around Barbara DePierro's head as she used one hand to puff on a cigarette and the other to play a slot machine at Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort.

"DePierro, a New Yorker, settles into her cigarettes-and-slots routine whenever she comes to Atlantic City and dreads the thought that her gambling pleasures may someday be interrupted by a casino smoking ban.

"'I like it the way it is now. If they banned smoking in Atlantic City, I would go to the Indian reservation casinos in Connecticut just to smoke,' DePierro vowed as her husband, James, nodded his head in agreement.

"A year after Atlantic City delayed a total smoking ban at the request of the powerful gaming industry, city officials are again debating whether the casinos should go smoke-free. City Council backed away from a ban last year amid warnings that smokers would take their business elsewhere, further depressing casino earnings in the soft economy.

"But council members also promised then to revisit the issue in a year. Just as it was on Oct. 8, 2008 - when it voted 5-4 to scrap the smoking ban - council remains divided..."

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