Officials in the New Jersey Gaming Commission are in a dilemma on what to decide about Atlantic City's smoking ban. Several groups have urged the commission to ban players from smoking in the state's casinos.
Even so, gaming operators are opposing the move, as it will greatly reduce their revenues. Both sides have made convincing arguments about the ban.
Some Groups Are Still Debating the Smoking Ban
Atlantic City is a popular resort city on the East Coast. Its casinos have faced various challenges in recent years. But, they are slowly coming off 2021, which was their best year.
Many residents in the region are advocating for a ban on smoking in all casinos. Such campaigns have taken place in the past, but casino lobbyists and operators have been hampering them. Past records reveal that banning smoking adversely affects tourism and reduces gross gaming revenue in casinos.
Various groups are still debating about the advantages and disadvantages of the smoking ban. But, the Greater Atlantic City Chamber said a few days ago that calls for banning smoking need to be dropped urgently.
Michael Chait, the Chamber's president, told the media that the city's Chamber marks two years since the Coronavirus outbreak in the country, and it is still feeling the pandemic's negative economic impact. Its community is struggling to recover and rebuild. The Chamber's main priority is to help and develop a conducive economic environment for businesses and their employees.
The Chamber's president added that they are determined to stabilize the gaming market create and preserve jobs as they support local communities. Yet, many Atlantic City officials disagree with Chait's statements.
New Jersey Casinos Are Preparing for Revenue Declines
Casino operators in the country have learned about what can happen in a year. The casino industry was about to collapse in 2020 due to reduced tourism rates and shutdowns. But, things improved in 2021, and some leading gambling sites set new revenue records.
Gambling analysts were undivided about how the nation's casino industry would perform last year. Some of them predict that it will be more successful in 2022, while others believe that casino operators aren't ready for another difficult year. This is mainly due to the increasing inflation rates.
The rising gas prices in the United States have forced many people to save money instead of spending it in casinos. The current situation might persist for a while as the Russia-Ukraine war continues.
The war has caused a huge drop in the country's economy, and it can cause a global conflict. Besides, it is a major concern for some investors, and it has led to a drop in local stock prices.
Sports Gambling Revenue Figures Are Encouraging
The country's land-based casino industry is fragile as various global events can affect how casinos perform. Even so, the sports betting sector is still thriving due to iGaming.
Many states have realized that online bookies are more lucrative and popular than retail bookmakers. January's states' revenue reports state that they made more money from sports gambling. For example, Illinois earned $66.2 gross gaming revenue in January despite launching the first bookmakers in 2020.