The Casino Association of New Jersey, an association providing a voice for Atlantic City’s nine gambling resorts, has warned that keeping the current smoking ban in place in the post-pandemic era would push some customers to neighboring Pennsylvania.
The state is set to lift the 14 month-long casino smoking ban, along with indoor mask wearing and capacity restrictions next month.
The Casino Association warned: “A smoking ban would have a significant adverse effect on Atlantic City, resulting in a decline in customers which would cause job loss, and ultimately a decline in tax revenue that benefits the state and local economy, as well as New Jersey seniors and persons with disabilities.”
Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights said: “With Covid-19, it’s time to finally end indoor smoking in hospitality gaming workplaces. Indoor smoking is an urgent respiratory health hazard that can be easily addressed by shifting smoking to outdoor areas and away from staff.”
But Senate President Steve Sweeney seemed to agree with the casino association. “It’s an industry that’s struggling quite a bit,” he told Bloomberg. “The argument before was that you’re going to chase away a percentage of their business, and nobody’s been able to disburse that thought process.”
MGM Resorts, operator of Borgata in New Jersey, runs no-smoking casinos in Massachusetts, New York and Las Vegas with its remodeled MGM Park in Las Vegas relaunching as the first smoke-free casino on the Strip.
“It’s important for guests and visitors to have a variety of choices on the Strip, and Park MGM’s smoke-free environment reflects that,” the company said.