Casino Smoking Legislation and Horse Track Slots Up for Discussion in New Jersey


  • New smoking bill places more restrictions on the casino floor.
  • Additional legislation would allow slots at horse race tracks.
  • Both bills are currently under discussion.

More legal changes are afoot in New Jersey as lawmakers add more bills for consideration. A measure has been introduced to try and deal with the potential smoking ban looming over New Jersey casinos, and another bill seeks to allow horse racetracks to offer slot machine gaming. Both bills were just introduced and are under consideration within the state legislature.

New Smoking Bill  

As one bill seeks to ban smoking completely in New Jersey casinos, another seeks to place more restrictions on the activity. Senator John Burzichelli introduced a bill this week that will keep the current 25% limit on the casino floor for smoking. Still, it will only be allowed in designated areas that are 15 feet or more away from the table games where live dealers are employed.

Casinos will also be allowed to offer enclosed areas with smoking, with separate ventilation. Employees do not have to work in these areas unless they feel comfortable doing so. The new legislation now sets up an even bigger fight against the measure that seeks to close a loophole that casinos use to allow smoking on the gaming floor.

The casinos in the state feel that if smoking were banned altogether, it would lead to job loss and a decrease in revenues. Proponents feel that the safety and health of players and casino employees are the most important factors.

Those against smoking feel the new bill is a waste of time and does nothing to lower the level of smoking that is currently taking place at casinos in New Jersey. It is unclear how much support the new bill has since it is newly introduced. We should be able to see if it can gain any ground in the next few weeks.

There is no doubt that proponents of a smoking ban will be going after this bill as well to try and stop any form of smoking at the casino sites. We assume casinos will be on board with this plan because it gives them the ability to continue offering smoking without sacrificing their player base.

The bill was just introduced, so we feel that the opponents of smoking will be out in full force in the coming days to show their displeasure over this new bill that tries to counteract the existing smoking ban legislation that has been under discussion for quite some time.

Senator Joe Pennacchio Introduces Slot Legislation or Racetracks 

New Jersey Senator Joe Pennacchio has introduced a gambling bill that will allow horse racetracks in the state to offer slot games. SCR14 will create a consortium of the casinos in Atlantic City to operate slots at the racetracks. A tax rate of 50% is in the bill, which is much higher than the 8% paid by casinos in AC.

Pennacchio says that money is being left on the table, and funds could be dedicated with the dollars going to Atlantic City infrastructure, as well as the horse racing industry, the consortium, and state taxpayers.

Players in New Jersey can easily travel to New York and visit racinos to play gambling games. Recent data shows that the seven racinos in New York generated $2.2 billion, with over $930 million in taxes paid. Atlantic City racinos earned far less at around $700 million. Pennacchio feels that if NJ can offer slots as well in their racinos, it will encourage more visitors and boost revenue totals.

It is unclear if this legislation will have any likelihood of passing as well since it will be determined based on support. Another expansion in gambling may not be something lawmakers are looking to do at the present moment.

Having started in 2005 as an online writer, Sadonna has focused on the online gambling industry, with a keen knowledge of various subjects. Sadonna has followed the growing US-based gambling industry for decades, covering all the legal changes in the nation as well as information on land-based and online casinos. She enjoys updating fellow gamblers on new games, casino bonuses, and additional information for premium gaming services. In her spare time, Sadonna loves spending time with her family and singing on Smule. Sadonna hopes to continue working in the online gambling industry and building quality articles for players to learn more about the US market.