Stakes Too High

Casino smoking ban delayed

Casinos and smokers.
One can't make it without the other.
But it's not about the love.
It's all about the money.
Seriously.  Just call it the Sugar Daddy Syndrome.

Casino execs say there's just no way they can make it, financially, if they have to turn away smokers.  And in a David versus Goliath type showdown, the corporate guys did a better job on the persuasion side.  They trumped the will of many of their own workers and anti-smoking advocates who thought the health risks might count more than the money.  Nope.

A smoking ban was set to go into effect next Wednesday at nearly a dozen Atlantic City casinos.  The ordinance was passed back in April, unanimously.  But when the economy got worse instead of better, casino operators argued the timing could devastate their bottom line.  Anti-smokers called it corporate greed, accused them of using the economy as an excuse. So both sides made their cases to local leaders tonight, and then City Council voted to delay that smoking ban for an entire year.

Small catch.  There has to be a second vote on October 22nd, before the delay would take effect.

So, next week's smoking ban will kick in, if only for a week.

A little tough love for smokers. 

A bitter haul for health advocates.

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