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Smoking Ban Economic Effect Analysis Released

17 November 2005

ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey -- (PRESS RELEASE) -- The Casino Association of New Jersey (CANJ) announced today the findings of a Smoking Ban Economic Effect Analysis which was conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP (PwC). This analysis, which was paid for by the CANJ, was sponsored by the Atlantic City Regional Chamber of Commerce, the New Jersey State Building and Construction Trades Council, the CANJ, and UNITE HERE, Local 54.

According to the analysis conducted by PwC, a ban on smoking in the Atlantic City casinos would result in a loss of $93 million in tax revenues to the State just in the first two years after the ban is implemented. $80 million of this amount will no longer be available to fund programs for New Jersey's seniors and disabled citizens.

The analysis also projected a loss of nearly 3,400 jobs in the Atlantic City gaming industry, resulting in $175 million in lost wages to New Jersey residents during the first two years after the ban is enacted, and an associated decline in income tax revenue to the State.

"The issue of prohibiting smoking in public establishments is one that is taken seriously by all," said Audrey S. Oswell, President of the Casino Association of New Jersey. "The results of the Economic Effect Analysis lead us to conclude that a smoking ban in the Atlantic City casinos will negatively affect the state's economy, including loss of casino jobs and employment related to the industry. This comes at a time when the State is already facing, as reported yesterday in the Newark Star Ledger, a $5 billion deficit."

PwC estimated the effects of Atlantic City's gaming revenues associated with the proposed smoking ban by performing an independent analysis of the effect of Delaware's smoking ban on the gaming market as well as a single property within the market, Dover Downs. The cumulative decline in gaming revenues for the two-year period following the ban on smoking in the Delaware gaming market resulted in a decrease in revenues of 19.12 percent for the market and a 20.4 percent decline for Dover Downs. This followed six consecutive years of revenue growth prior to the ban on smoking.

"A ban on smoking will not deter people who enjoy casino entertainment from smoking - rather it will give them a reason to choose to play in a casino in a neighboring state. A ban on smoking will put New Jersey at a competitive disadvantage, as neighboring states will benefit from New Jersey's loss."

"While we acknowledge the dangers resulting from smoking, we cannot ignore the extremely negative impact on New Jersey's economy that would result from a ban on smoking in Atlantic City casinos," said Oswell. "This is not an easy issue, but if passed millions of dollars will be taken away from our state's seniors and thousands of jobs will be lost."

"Customers of bars, restaurants and casinos where smoking is permitted do so of their own free will. It is their choice. It is a voluntary decision," stated Oswell.

The CANJ is comprised of representatives from nine operating casinos in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and serves as a unified voice for the state's casino industry.

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