Atlantic City (AP) – Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino will eliminate smoking on its casino floor, bringing to six the number of Atlantic City casinos that will ban smoking while gambling.
No timetable was announced, but other casinos said they expected to the changes to take effect at their own facilities by next spring.
All 11 casinos here must tell the state by Saturday how they intend to comply with a partial smoking ban enacted by the Atlantic City Council in February mandating that at least 75 percent of the casino floor be smoke-free.
The law requires that smoking areas be walled off with ventilation systems to keep smoke from drifting into nonsmoking areas. There is no deadline for the state to approve the plans or for having the enclosures up and running.
So far, six casinos have chosen to create smokers‘ lounges where patrons can go to light up. Gambling will not be offered within the lounges, making the casino floor totally smoke-free. Four casinos will offer smoking lounges with gambling and one casino has yet to say what it will do.
Mark Juliano, chief executive officer of Trump Entertainment Resorts, told The Associated Press on Thursday that Trump Plaza will create such a non-gambling smoking lounge. The company’s other two casinos, Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort, and Trump Marina Hotel Casino, will create enclosed smoking areas where gambling will still be offered.
The configuration of the building at Trump Plaza made it impractical to offer gambling in the planned smoker’s lounge there, he said.
In addition to Trump Plaza, all four Atlantic City casinos owned by Harrah’s Entertainment Inc., Harrah’s Atlantic City, Bally’s Atlantic City, Caesars Atlantic City and the Showboat Casino-Hotel will also ban smoking while gambling. The Tropicana Casino and Resort will do likewise.
Resorts Atlantic City and the Atlantic City Hilton Casino Resort also plan to hedge their bets by creating a smoking lounge at each casino, along with one slots area and one table games area at each casino that will be set aside for smokers.
The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa has not yet said how it plans to comply with the law.
The City Council in Atlantic City had been set to ban smoking in all the casinos earlier this year, but relented under fierce pressure from the industry, which said it feared losing 20 percent of its revenue and as many as 3,400 jobs if smoking were totally banned.