Atlantic City casinos allowed to resume smoking, drinking on gaming floors
Atlantic City casino visitors can finally enjoy smoking and consume alcohol on the gaming floor, thanks to New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s newly-issued executive order no. 183. Issuing the executive order, the office of Gov. Murphy said that beverage operations in the state could resume indoor service at 25 per cent capacity starting coming Friday. However, the relaxation is subject to existing Covid-19 health and safety guidelines.
The gambling and entertainment facilities, however, have been asked to make sure that Covid-19 health and safety guidelines remain intact while serving alcohol and allowing customers to smoke on the gaming floor. For instance, alcohol must be ordered through a server and the customer demanding alcohol must remain seated while consuming the drink. The same rule is applicable for smoking.
The executive order no. 183 comes just days after the governor signed legislation to permanently permit patrons within the Atlantic City Tourism District, which includes areas of the boardwalk and beach, to drink alcohol from open containers. The permission to drink alcohol from open containers was granted in June this year, and it was supposed to be quashed once the indoor alcohol consumption rules were relaxed. However, the governor eventually concluded that businesses and patrons should be allowed to use all the ways to boost business.
The relaxation allowing smoking on the gaming floor is a great relief for smoke lovers who had been concerned that the temporary ban on smoking in casinos could be made permanent. While the executive order allowing indoor smoking has been welcomed by many, some are obviously loathing it.
It may be noted here that more and more public health advocates as well as policy makers are proposing ban on smoking, with many stressing that it is the right time to ban smoking in casinos the Covid-19 health crisis has created a dire need to make all public places and indoor facilities smoke free environments. In Pennsylvania, State Rep. Dan Frankel recently introduced a new bill, HB2298, which aims to amend the state’s Clean Indoor Air Act to make nightclubs, bars and casinos smoke-free environments.
A recent online poll, conducted by the Las Vegas Advisor, found 72 percent of the respondents clearly stating that they would prefer smoking either to be completely banned or restricted in some way indoor facilities. Merely 5 percent of the respondents agreed with the statement that allowing people to smoke at gaming floors is the reason for Las Vegas casinos’ popularity.