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News Summary

Smoking ban in N.J. bears watching

Publication Date: 2007-02-11
  • Author:Editorial
  • Publication:Reno (NV) Gazette-Journal

Even as Nevadans were prohibiting smoking in most public places in November, they exempted the gaming floors of the state's casinos, accepting the gaming industry's longstanding argument that gambling and smoking are inseparable and that banning the practice would hurt Nevada's most important industry.

That theory is about to be put to the test in New Jersey, where the City Council of Atlantic City last week approved an ordinance that would require that 75 percent of a casino's area be nonsmoking...

Given the direction this country has moved in the past decade, it seems inevitable that some day all public spaces will be smoke-free. The action in Atlantic City is just one more step down that path.

That's why casino owners in Nevada (some also own casinos in Atlantic City) should pay close attention to what happens in New Jersey. If smoking is successfully eliminated in that state's casinos without seriously harming the gaming business (or state revenues), the fight against smoking in casinos will come to Nevada in the next few years. The only question will be how long Nevada can hold out.