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Online Casino News - April, 2008

Casinos Still Exempt From Smoking Bans in Ohio & Connecticut



  Seed Newsvine

by Edward Rogers, News Staff Writer

April 8, 2008

Decades ago, nobody would think twice about banning cigarette smoking in casinos. These days, now that we know more about the negative repercussions of second-hand cigarette smoke and that it doesn't just get in your eyes, more casinos are taking the responsible step of banning cigarette smoking indoors.

If you're an online gambler, take a deep breath, 'cause you don't even have to deal with it, but if you like to spin the reels in say...Connecticut or Iowa, the issue is still in the air so to speak. Both State's are currently debating whether or not a casino smoking ban is a necessary move. In other words, it appears that a decision will come down to how a smoking ban will affect business more so than public health.

In Ohio, where a stalemate between the House and Senate has been taking place regarding a statewide smoking ban in all indoor areas, a compromise over casinos has been reached. In fact, the only indoor areas to get an exemption under the new law are casinos and the Veteran's Home. In other words, I suppose this translates into places where lots of old people can be found?

Several members of the House, for one reason or another, were pushing to exempt bars and restaurants with liquor licenses, as well as casinos. And so as not to push the law back for yet another year, it became apparent that a compromise was needed. The Senate wanted a strict smoking ban passed, but in the end, casinos and veterans got the last laugh. Or should I say last cough.

In Connecticut where a state smoking ban is already in effect (exempting casinos), the issue seems to be even more touchy. In a letter penned for the General Assembly by thirteen Connecticut legislators, it was opined that Governor Jodi Rell should begin formal talks with tribal leaders of Connecticut's two mega-casinos, Mohegan Sun Casino and Foxwoods Casino. Since there is a potential of violating the sovereign rights of the tribes by imposing a legislative smoking ban in casinos, legislators believe the best way of going about the issue is to begin talks with the tribes, essentially meaning a compromise is likely to happen.

In the meantime, both Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun Casino continue to offer designated smoking and non-smoking areas. However, the main casino floor in both establishments is open range for those who like to puff the stick. Smoke 'em if you got 'em, 'cause the future of any indoor facility, whether a casino or daycare facility, is going to be smoke-free folks. We now know too much about the health dangers of smoking cigarettes and second-hand smoke.



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