October 20, 2023 2 min read


New Jersey Lawmakers to Discuss Casino Smoking Ban After the Elections

New Jersey Senate President Nicholas Scutari will allegedly work on Senate Bill 264 following the November 7 elections

The future of smoking at Atlantic City’s nine casinos remains uncertain as lawmakers continue to seek a way to patch the indoor smoking loophole. For as many as 17 years, this exemption in the New Jersey Smoke-Free Air Act, supported by the Democrats, has permitted AC’s casino properties to allow smoking in up to 25% of their gaming floor space.

The exemption has long been a subject of controversies, with some lawmakers seeking to patch it up for years now. The smoking exemption also continues to attract disgruntlement from anti-smoking activists who claim that the current law jeopardizes the health of casino workers.

Two measures, namely Senate Bill 264 and Assembly Bill 2151, seek to put an end to the current loophole and align the casinos to other properties where indoor smoking is prohibited. The measures have been in limbo for many months but have enough support to go to Governor Phil Murphy.

Murphy has previously expressed his support of the measures, saying that he would sign them into law if they reach his desk. Despite the strong support, however, the Democratic Party continues to block the measures.

The Ban Has Many Opponents

New reports claim that the measures may soon be taken out of limbo as New Jersey Senate President Nicholas Scutari will allegedly work on Senate Bill 264 following the November 7 elections.

Anti-smoking parties are signed up for an uphill battle against the Democratic leadership, which hopes to retain its majority in the Senate and Assembly where it holds 25 and 46 seats respectively.

In addition, anti-smoking parties will need to overcome the strong opposition from casino companies, which believe that a smoking ban would hurt their revenues, forcing them to cut as many as 2,500 jobs. Unite Here has compared the smoking ban to suicide, alleging that it would cause AC casinos’ GGR to drop by 11%.

However, proponents of the ban have argued that there is not enough evidence to suggest that the measure would have such a profound effect on the local casino industry.


Although Fiona doesn't have a long-spanning background within the gambling industry, she is an incredibly skilled journalist who has built a strong interest in the constantly growing iGaming network. The team at GamblingNews.com is glad to have her on our roster to help deliver the best stories as soon as they hit. Aside from writing, she loves to dabble in online casino games such as slots and roulette, both for her own enjoyment and also as research to better improve her understanding of the industry.

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