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Casino Gaming, Opinion

The Bad Economics of City Council and Mayor Evans’ Smoking Ban

   Atlantic City casino executives have come together to warn city government that the imminent smoking ban is bad for business.   Donald Trump has had the most fortitude in opposing this mindless smoking ban.   Donald Wittkowski reported:

“The smoking ban will have a huge, negative impact on Atlantic City – beyond any competition, beyond anything,” Trump said. “All we can do is to ask the council to reconsider.”

Trump warned a decline in gaming business will translate into the loss of millions of dollars in state casino-tax revenue for social programs benefiting New Jersey’s senior citizens and disabled residents.

“I just hope for the best. But the smoking ban itself will take tens of millions of dollars of taxes away and will take tens of millions of dollars of aid away from senior citizens and all of the things that we’re doing,” Trump told reporters Thursday after a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the grand opening of a $255 million hotel tower at Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort.

Trump said he has already received about 15 calls from friends who complained they will no longer take gambling trips to Atlantic City because of the smoking ban.

“If you’re a smoker, you have a problem,” he said. “I hope the City Council is able to reconsider. This isn’t for Donald Trump. This has nothing to do with me. But senior citizens and all of the big beneficiaries of Atlantic City are going to suffer greatly because of this ban. It’s the only place in the United States with a full smoking ban, and it’s going to be a disaster.”

   We have been against the smoking ban from the onset of its conception.   Our objections are threefold.  First, the smoking ban is bad economics.   A government-imposed smoking ban alienates a significant and loyal customer base of the casinos.   The smoking ban is another example of government’s track record of destroying the efforts of economic producers.   Thanks to Councilmen William “Speedy” Marsh, G. Bruce Ward, Tim Mancuso, Dennis Mason, Marty Small, George Tibbitt, Eugene Robinson, Steve Moore, John Schultz, and Mayor Scott Evans for hurting our local economy by caving to the pressure of UAW labor union and the coalition of anti-smoking groups.   May our elected officials feel as good as they did the night they unanimously approved the smoking ban, when they begin to receive letters from unemployed workers, who were victims of the smoking ban.

   This position was verified by an economic expert.

Dennis M. Farrell Jr., a gaming analyst for Wachovia Capital Markets, said City Council may have to delay the smoking ban to allow casinos to adjust their business models to the economic slowdown. Otherwise, some casinos may go out of business, he predicted.

“We believe there is a high probability that the Atlantic City marketplace could see more than one casino close its doors in the next two years, unless the full smoking ban is delayed or state relief is provided to these properties,” Farrell wrote in a note to investors.

   Second, the smoking ban is based on bad science and health.   The case against second-hand smoking is a cut-and-piece report.  Anti-smoking have a true Procrustean argument.  The amount of evidence does not correlate to the fervor with which Anti-smoking-ites have vilified smoking and smokers.   The anti-smoking “scientific” mis-reports question who is really blowing smoke.

(Photo credit – http://www.delawarelitigation.com/hot.air.argument.gif)

   Third, a government-imposed smoking ban is anti-American.  The ban denies the freedom of a business to determine for itself if it will have smoking under its roof and inside its walls.   The business owns the property, not the government.   The smoking ban lacks respect for the rights of private property.   The importance of private property is paramount to the survival of our Republic.   In fact, the tenant of “The Pursuit of Happiness” is vitally related to the respect of private property.   Rather than allow people to be responsible adults, Atlantic City Council and Mayor Evans have decided that both visitors and employees are not responsible enough to decide for THEMSELVES if they will work in a smoking atmosphere.   It is sad to see how the tenants of socialism and “Big Brother” government have defeated freedom, liberty, and the American Way in Atlantic City.

   We have caught a lot of flack for constantly returning to this issue.   I want to assure you that we will continue to beat the dead horse until enough people wake up and decide to give freedom a chance, again.


About Jesse O. Kurtz

I am committed to fulfilling the promise of Atlantic City. The town would benefit from greater political participation by average citizens. Hopefully, some of the posts herein will encourage you to get more involved in your community. This blog will also feature other topics and subjects beyond Atlantic City. I hope that you will come to love Atlantic City as much, or more than I do.


4 thoughts on “The Bad Economics of City Council and Mayor Evans’ Smoking Ban

  1. Excellent piece, Jesse. The first ones fired should be those employees who have been agitating for a smoking ban. They knew there was smoking in there when they were hired, so if they’re so worried about their health, they should be the first ones out the door and they shouldn’t complain about it. They’re getting what they want, a “smoke free” environment. Unfortunately they won’t get paid, but you can’t have it both ways….

    Posted by dave202 | October 6, 2008, 3:56 pm
  2. Stephanie Steinberg, chairwoman of Smoke Free Gaming of Colorado, said that in her state, where casino workers aren’t unionized, getting smoking banned required unusual tactics.

    She and fellow campaigners played at blackjack tables to strike up conversations with dealers and waitresses about secondhand smoke. Soon, her group had persuaded dozens of employees to show up at off-site locations that stayed open until 4 a.m. so they could be tested for nicotine levels in their urine. Steinberg’s group also walked through casinos with personal air-monitoring devices used by asthmatics to measure air quality. They eventually persuaded legislators to extend Colorado’s clean-air act, already enforced in restaurants and other public places, to casinos.

    But Connecticut casinos and others may soon be facing challenges. Ms. Steinberg is taking her fight from Colorado to Nevada. Other smoking-ban efforts are under way in Iowa and Missouri. Pennsylvania casinos instituted a closely watched partial smoking ban last week. Casinos in these states are expected to
    vigorously oppose full smoking bans.

    Posted by Bob | October 7, 2008, 12:28 am
  3. I think the smoking ban should go into effect. Just walk around the floor of a casino and see how many slots and tables are FILLED with NON-SMOKERS! I had to look long and hard to find an open slot machine in a no smoking area. The smoking areas seem to have less and less smokers in them, but yet their smoke wafts over to the non smoking area ruining the gaming experience for us who do not smoke. I am allergic to smoke, and to go to a casino is not fun- which is it supposed to be. I don’t think the smoking ban will really hurt business for that long- look at Philly- yes, there was an initial dip in patronage at bars and restraunts, but now the non smokers are willing to go out more since we can breathe easy and ENJOY our meals without the smoke. And, if more smokers quit- they will have more $$ to gamble with! Please don’t ruin the fun of gambling for those of us who like don’t like to see the air we breathe. The casino workers can’t wait for the ban- just talk to them!

    Posted by K Rowe | October 7, 2008, 8:01 am
  4. Jesse, you’ve done such a good job with this piece. Your writing and research is excellent. You’re headed to high position and regard.
    As for the ban, it’s easy to write the obvious truth, in an atmosphere of repression regarding this subject, and the city is in the clutches of demons presently. Truth, good sense and fairness is non-existent there, now.
    Interesting post above me. A complete representation of the lies of these liars, all statements the exact opposite of the truth. This is the basis and body of the banning brownshirt’s argument. Baseless, full of lies, hiding their desire to repress and control, to take away freedom to satisfy the urge to villify, to deny free enjoyment of others, and the thought that the casinos are their posession to dictate the terms of operation. They should lose these casinos, their last lesson.

    Posted by reader | October 7, 2008, 8:42 pm

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