ambling analysts have projected that casino income, already in an annual decline of over five percent a year, may reach into a double-digit yearly drop if smoking is outlawed.
City Councilmam Marty Small has discussed postponing the ban until the economy is stronger and more prepared to deal with the negative effects. He said, “We have to do what is in the best interests of Atlantic City as a whole. Casinos pay eighty percent of our taxes and provide thousands of jobs for city residents."
Trump warned that if smoking were no longer permitted, thousands of gamblers would seek venues in neighboring states to play. Instead of the old model of gamblers crossing borders to play Atlantic City casinos, a great exodus could occur, leaving millions in lost revenue marked for care of seniors and disabled citizens.
Illinois casinos have suffered major losses in revenue after imposing state-regulated smoking bans, and Colorado casinos have defied new state laws demanding smoking be forbidden, while they search for legal loopholes. Meanwhile, online casino membership grows.
Sherman Bradley, gaming analyst for Online Casino Advisory, said, "Here is an example of a confluence of what is right and what is prudent. Government should not be interfering with either the businessman’s right to decide the nature of his shop nor the individual’s right to decide his own life choice. Now, state regulation will not only breach issues of personal freedom, but also cost the state dearly in taxes.
"The answer is clear; leave smoking choices to operators, and let those who find smoking establishments objectionable enjoy themselves elsewhere."