Smokers Banned from Casinos in Atlantic City. Smoking was still permitted in casinos even after New Jersey banned smoking in most public buildings just two years ago, but that could soon change. Next week the City Council should be giving final approval to a ban that would see it illegal to smoke on casino floors. Enclosed smoking lounges will be made available to smokers, and those who break this new rule will be slapped with a fine as low as $250 and as high as $1,000.

Atlantic City casinos had previously been exempt from the smoking law because they had argued that the ban would take away valuable business, but anti-smoking groups have since lobbied hard to remove the exemption. “There are undoubtedly people alive today in New Jersey who wouldn’t be alive without that ban,” said Dr. George DiFerdinando, leader of one coalition of anti-smoking groups. He mentioned that he was disappointed that the first smoking ban did not included casinos.

If the ban is passed next week, it would take effect on October 15th of this year. Many dealers are voicing relief at this proposal and are excited to have it implemented. “It’s been two years now, and dealers are still getting sick,” said Nate Chait, a dealer at Caesars Atlantic City. “There will always be debate about whether a smoking ban will hurt profits. What’s not debatable is that second-hand smoke kills.”

MGM Mirage Fires over 400 Managers. The biggest casino operator in Las Vegas has recently fired over 400 employees, a move that should save them $75 million during a time where people have less money to spend. “We were able to see the signs of trouble on the economic horizon last August,” said Alan Feldman, a spokesman for MGM Mirage. “The economy was beginning to worsen and clearly was not going to get better in the immediate term.”

MGM Mirage predicts that guests will spend much more carefully than in the past and will be thriftier when it comes to their vacations. “Instead of four days, people stay for three. Instead of a five-star experience, they are going for four stars. Instead of two shows, they’re going to one,” Feldman said. “There certainly is the possibility that there are people who are also making a decision to gamble less.”

The job cuts will affect mostly employees in Las Vegas and also some in Michigan and Mississippi. There shouldn’t be any further firings unless the economy becomes drastically worse.

Trade Gold for Cash in AC. Have a bunch of gold sitting around but no cash? Sounds silly, but the Get Cash Gold company has seen a business opportunity at the Atlantic City Hilton Casino Resort. From April 25-27, people can trade their gold for cash in the Hilton ballroom.

The casino’s senior marketing vice president told newspapers that they wanted to offer this convenience to customers in light of the fact that the price for gold has recently increased by significant amounts. Customers won’t have to go to a pawn shop to get cash, and everyone knows that people with cash in their pockets are better customers than those without it.