ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) -- After a month of fresh air, smoking is once again allowed inside Atlantic City's 11 casinos.
The City Council had passed a total smoking ban in April, but then the financial meltdown rocked the economy and led to even steeper declines at the casinos.
The council changed its mind at the last moment and agreed to repeal the smoking ban for at least a year, but couldn't legally stop the no-smoking rules from taking effect on Oct. 15.
The ban expired a minute after midnight Sunday, and gamblers can now light up again.
Some casino workers feel betrayed by the council's reversal, but many gamblers and casino operators are pleased. Trump Entertainment Resorts CEO Mark Juliano says at least now there's an even playing field with out-of-state slot parlors.