Atlantic City Delays Vote on Casino Smoking Ban

Atlantic City's casinos are not stubbing out the cigarettes just yet.

The City Council in New Jersey's gambling mecca put off a vote Friday on banning smoking in casinos to give the nightspots more time to get ready.

A new, amended proposal will be voted on Jan. 24 and is expected to pass. It would go into effect April 15; the previous measure would have taken effect in a month.

Anti-smoking groups and casino workers welcomed the ban, while the casino industry warned of legal action.

The ordinance would make Atlantic City the biggest gambling spot in the nation to bar smoking. Las Vegas, Biloxi, Mississippi, and most Indian casinos allow smoking.

Sharon Carfagno, a cocktail waitress at Harrah's Atlantic City since the day it opened in 1981, said so many more people light up while gambling that it is as if casino employees are smoking themselves.

"Two other girls I work with failed nicotine tests for life insurance," she said. "And they never smoked."

A year ago, New Jersey banned smoking in most indoor public places, including bars and restaurants, but exempted the powerful casino industry.