Friday, February 22, 2008

A call to action for smokers who wanna support St. Louis smokers

St. Louis mayor Francis Slay is conducting a poll on his own website to see how everybody feels about a ban in his town. From reading the results, I'd say the antis are putting the word out to all their people to vote in it. They are totally skewing the results so head on over there and make it fair.


Thursday, February 21, 2008

January wasn't a good month for IL casinos

I see there's a drop in revenues for IL casinos. Me thinks the smoking ban has a lot more to do with this drop than the fact casinos are open 24/7 in Indiana.

I wonder if the ACS will blame the competition in Indiana for these drops?


Gaming Board reverses prior decision, lets Penn keep its Joliet casino

by Maisie Ramsay
Feb 20, 2008

The Illinois Gaming Board decided to allow Penn National Gaming Inc. to retain ownership of the Empress Casino in Joliet, reversing its 2005 decision that required the company to sell the property to get approval for its acquisition of Argosy Gaming Co.

Penn said in a statement that it plans to pump $50 million of improvements into the casino because of the move, but it has not released specific plans or start dates.

The Illinois Gaming Board did not respond to calls by press time. Its decision was announced late Tuesday afternoon.

However, the decision suggests the board is unconcerned that Penn’s share of the Illinois casino market is anti-competitive. Penn currently operates three of the nine casinos in Illinois.

“Penn has operated casinos in a manner that’s not created economic concentration,” said Tom Swoik, executive director of the Illinois Casino Gaming Association. He said the company has not used joint advertising or promotions to boost revenue, actions that would put other Illinois casinos at a competitive disadvantage and ring alarm bells at the Gaming Board.

Previously, Penn had agreed to sell the two Illinois Argosy casinos to secure approval of its Argosy acquisition to assuage concerns of an anticompetitive market share.

Analysts’ opinions of the board’s decision were mixed. Sumit Desai at Morningstar Inc. was unenthused. The Joliet casino comprises only a “small part of the overall portfolio,” he said.

The Empress Casino comprised 7.8 percent of Penn’s income from continuing operations and 9.2 percent of revenues in 2007.

Analyst David Katz at Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. was upbeat about the decision. “It is material and it is significant in that the Illinois casinos have been a very profitable venture,” said Katz.

However, he added that continuing competitive pressures in the Illinois gaming business would continue to pose challenges for the company.

Nicholas Danna of Sterne, Agee & Leach Inc. said the move was an “incremental positive,” but echoed other analysts’ concerns about competitive pressures in Illinois gaming, specifically the smoking ban.

Citing the smoking ban as a major disadvantage for Illinois casinos, he said “the balance of power has shifted to Indiana.”

Illinois charges a higher tax rate than Indiana, 24-hour gaming is not allowed and gaming positions are restricted to 1,200, said Swoik.

Two Indiana racetrack-casinos have gaming positions limited to 2,000, but there are no such restrictions on the other operations in the state, said Michael Smith, president of the Casino Association of Indiana. All Indiana gaming operations can operate 24 hours a day.

Illinois casino revenues fell in January, a slump Swoik attributes to competitive pressure and the smoking ban that took effect Jan. 1. The Illinois Gaming Board reported that adjusted gross receipts from casinos dropped 17.5 percent in the month of January, to $131 million from $159 million in January 2007.

Adjusted gross receipts at Empress dropped 28.6 percent in January compared with the same period last year, to $14.9 million from $20.9 million.

Penn stock has been trading around $50 a share in February despite a pending $67 per share buyout from Fortress Investment Group LLC and Centerbridge Partners LP that is expected to close mid-June.

Danna says the price could indicate doubt that the deal will go through. “That’s an abnormally large spread for a deal that’s going to close in four months,” said Danna, adding that credit markets are tight and some private equity deals for the buyout have fallen through. “If the deal falls apart [shares will] fall to the $40 range,” he said.

The stock closed at $47.27, down 35 cents. The stock took another dip in after-hours trading, falling to $46.65, a drop of 62 cents.

That nonsmoking chick who died in a bar happened 4 years ago

This is a followup on that death from the teen chick who died from inhaling SHS in a Michigan bar. I found this post on anotha smokers rights forum.

The fact of the matter is that this actually happened in 2004.

The MIFACE investigation took place WELL after the fact, and the antismoking media only picked it up in early February. But that is the incident.

Notice that they say throughout the document that the girl died of the asthma attack, and point out that she dies of "status asthmaticus".

But the part where her father tells of her problems before she arrived at work is what kills it for the antis...

"According to the medical examiner's report, the victim's father had seen her at 9:30 p.m. and stated she was having breathing problems at that time." She arrived at work 15 minutes later.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Politicians get paid to suport the antis' side

I heard antis pay judges and politicians $10,000 each in order to side with them.

If antis are really paying politicians $10k, I know IL Smokers Rights could use some of that money. No wonder politicians keep approving smoking bans. Because some lowlife mothas are actually paying them big bucks to vote YES for smoking bans!

Where do these antis even come up with the money to pay judges and politicians to support their side?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Smoking can help you lose weight

I have an old theory that if you want to eat less, then you should smoke cigs. I heard of women who stopped smoking. And once they became ex-smokers, they started to eat a lot more food. Some women even continue to smoke only to keep their bodies slim.

If some of the nonsmoking obese folks wanna lose some weight, maybe smoking cigs can help em.

Unfortunately, smoking doesn't help every person lose weight. I've seen women with big bodies smoke before.

An official smoke-in (IL article)


Article quote:

"Our military goes over and fights in combat and they can't come back to their own private organization and cant smoke and have a drink with their friends our freedom is being taken away from us."

I couldn't have said this better. You can fight for the US. But you can't use your actual freedoms in the US. What's the point of being a vet at all if you gonna have freedoms taken away by the govt who thinks they're our parents?

I think more smokers need to light up in places and have some more smoke-ins if they think being an American is more important than letting a smoking ban control our lives.

Yes, I said "our" lives. If I'm gonna be an American, I'm gonna exercise all of the freedoms I have, including the freedom to smoke. It's not right to force me to pay 1000s of taxes in Illinois, and then tell me at the same time I can't smoke in places. Why the F is IL stealing my money via taxes? I oughta get SOME KIND of reward in exchange for being a taxpayer. Maybe a reward like a place to smoke at?

I think this cold weather alone is enough to convince me to let people smoke in places. But a 10 percent drop in revenues is another legit reason to "break a law.