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Whelan softens on casino smoking

Publication Date: 2006-06-22
  • Author:Pete McAleer
  • Publication:Press of Atlantic City

Anti-smoking groups want cigarettes banned from casino gaming floors.

Atlantic City's casino industry would prefer to remain exempt from New Jersey's indoor smoking ban and simply install a new ventilating system.

Assemblyman Jim Whelan, D-Atlantic, finds himself somewhere in between. Once a staunch supporter of adding casino gaming floors to the state indoor smoking ban, Whelan spoke about a compromise this week with those on both sides of the issue. He said he plans to introduce legislation in the fall that would allow smoking on a portion of casino gaming floors ­ possibly 20 percent ­ with the rest of the gaming floor made smoke-free within a year of the bill's passage.

“It's very possible I'll put a bill in that manages to tick off both sides of this,” Whelan said. “That's OK.”