The Debate Over Atlantic City’s Smoking Ban Rages On

Atlantic City Smoking Ban Question Marks

Officials within New Jersey’s Gaming Commission are stuck between a rock and a hard place. More groups have been calling for an outright ban on smoking inside the state’s casinos. Gaming executives are pushing against this move, claiming it will lead to major revenue declines. The debate over Atlantic City’s smoking ban appears far from over.

There are convincing arguments being made on both sides of the spectrum. Today, we’ll take a close look at which way state regulators appear to be leaning.

Let’s get into it!

Various Groups Continue to Debate Atlantic City’s Smoking Ban

For years, Atlantic City has been the largest and most profitable casino hub on the East Coast. The casinos here have seen their ups and downs over the years and are now coming off their best-ever year in 2021. Nothing is perfect, however, and many in the city have begun pushing hard for an outright ban on smoking inside casinos.

This is not something new for Atlantic City. Many attempts to prohibit smoking inside the city’s casinos have been made over the years. An outright ban on this activity has not taken place due primarily to the efforts of casino executives and their lobbyists. Historically speaking, banning smoking leads to a decline in tourism and revenue inside casinos.

Various groups continue to debate the pros and cons of Atlantic City’s smoking ban. The Greater Atlantic City Chamber recently stated that calls to ban smoking inside casinos should be dropped. Michael Chait, president of the Greater Atlantic City Chamber, have his opinion on this situation to the media this week.

“As we mark two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, the Greater Atlantic City region continues to feel the adverse economic impact from this unprecedented health crisis. As our community struggles to rebuild and recover, our priority must be to support and maintain a favorable economic environment for local businesses and employees. We must be focused on maintaining stability in the market, preserving and creating jobs, and supporting the local community during these uncertain times.”

Many city officials have already voiced their disapproval with the Greater Chamber’s statements. Stay tuned for more information on this ongoing debate as the year continues.

New Jersey Casinos Brace for Possible Revenue Declines

Casino companies around the US learned just how much of a difference one year can make between 2020 and 2021. Throughout 2020, the entire US casino industry appeared on the brink of collapse due to shutdowns and low tourism rates. Things completely turned around in 2021 and many of the country’s top gambling hubs reported record-breaking revenue figures.

Analysts have been torn as to how the US casino industry will perform throughout 2021. Some suggested an even more successful year than 2021. Some are now casting doubt on that idea and feel casinos are in for yet another difficult twelve months or more.

Rising inflation rates have contributed to this theory. Gas prices and other rising costs are leading many around the US to save money rather than risk it inside a casino. This situation does not appear to be improving, leading some to believe inflation will continue to rise.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has complicated matters, as well. This has led to further drops in the US economy and has even stoked fears of a major global conflict breaking out. Concerns like these cause fear amongst investors and impact the stock market.

These issues, along with Atlantic City’s smoking ban being considered, could take a major toll on the casinos in New Jersey. Gaming executives are already preparing for the worst. Hope is that things improve quickly and the world’s economy beings to rise once again.

Sports Betting Revenue Figures are Still Looking Good

The brick-and-mortar casino industry remains somewhat fragile. It has become clear that different world events can have a massive impact on how casinos fare. The US sports betting industry continues to expand rapidly, however, with no real signs of slowing down.

This is primarily true with online sports betting. More states around the country recognize that online sportsbooks are far more popular and lucrative than retail sportsbooks. Revenue reports for January have been surfacing that show much money various state sports betting industries are bringing in right now.

That includes revenue reports in Illinois. This state launched its first sportsbooks in 2020 and has developed one of the largest betting industries in the country. The sportsbooks here managed to bring in $66.2 million in gross gaming revenue, representing a large increase from December of 2021.

New York’s first online sportsbooks finally launched in January. In their first 30 days of operating, these sportsbooks managed to bring in $70 million in tax revenue. That is a huge accomplishment and set a new all-time monthly revenue record for the industry.

What do you think of Atlantic City’s smoking ban debate? Should the casinos here prohibit smoking? Let us know in the comments section below.