The casinos of Atlantic City remain one of the last places in New Jersey to permit smoking, but that may change under new chief lawmaker Senate President Nicholas Scutari.
The Democrat, in an interview, said that the big debate over a smoking ban had to end somewhere. A non-smoker himself, Scutari said: “We have to work with the industry, but at some point you are going to see something.”
The debate over the issue centres on the likely impact of a smoking ban on the gambling businesses in Atlantic City. Many believe that a ban would wreak havoc with the casino finances.
New Jersey banned smoking in restaurants and other public places as far back as 2006, but casinos are still permitted to have smoking on 25 per cent of their floor space.
There is now a bill going through the Senate to complete the ban, with the state Assembly also divided. State Governor Phil Murphy has gone on record as being prepared to sign the measure if both houses of the legislature approve.