Council feuds with Trump over smoking ban

Aug. 21, 2007 at 4:40 PM
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ATLANTIC CITY, N.J., Aug. 21 (UPI) -- The city council in Atlantic City, N.J., reportedly is furious about real estate magnate Donald Trump’s attempts to repeal a partial casino smoking ban.

Trump blames the prohibition, which took effect April 15 and limits smoking to 25 percent of gaming floors, for scaring away gamblers "in droves."

He called for its repeal in a letter last week to Mayor Bob Levy and City Council President William Marsh, the Press of Atlantic City reported Tuesday.

But councilmen Bruce Ward and Gene Robinson said Trump's complaints are a "smokescreen" for the financial troubles of his own gaming company.

"Donald came out swinging at the wrong target. He should instead look inward at his company's position, which is somewhat precarious because of all of the debt it is carrying," Ward said.

Ward and Robinson said the council may be angry enough with Trump to again consider imposing a complete smoking ban at the city's 11 casinos.

"I'm still for a 100 percent ban," Robinson said. "It is possible that there may be enough anger to turn it around. At a minimum, we're going to keep it at 75-25."

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