NEW YORK (AP) -- Donald Trump called on 11 casinos Thursday to sue over a new smoking ban approved by the Atlantic City Council, arguing that it created a competitive disadvantage.
The real estate magnate, chairman of a company that owns three casinos in Atlantic City, said he would not file his own suit but wants the Casino Association of New Jersey to stop the ban from taking effect in October.
"I'm not a smoker, and I don't personally like what smoking does to people," Trump told The Associated Press in an interview in his Manhattan office. "But this puts us at a huge disadvantage."
Slot parlors in the Philadelphia area, which have been stealing many of Atlantic City's most profitable and reliable customers over the past year and a half, permit them to smoke while gambling. Some smokers shunned Atlantic City last April when the city imposed a partial ban that restricts smoking to no more than 25 percent of the casino floor.
But anti-smoking advocates said the partial restriction didn't work. The smoking areas were not walled off and separated from nonsmoking areas, as last year's law had called for, and smoke still wafts throughout the casino floor.
The ordinance allows casinos to construct gambling-free smoking lounges but does not require them to.
The association's president did not return calls seeking comment. Joseph Corbo has previously said the industry would reluctantly go along with a ban if it had enough time to prepare.
Trump is the chairman and largest shareholder of Trump Entertainment Resorts, which operates the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort, Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, and Trump Marina Hotel Casino.