Saturday, March 5, 2011

IL Lawmakers Mull Smoking in Casinos, Bars

(From Smokers Club Inc)

Illinois Lawmakers Mull Smoking in Casinos, Bars

Springfield, Illinois March 4, 2011 – Two current bills under consideration by the Illinois General Assembly are expected to generate increased revenues for the state. They would allow smoking in gaming facilities and eligible businesses that have liquor licenses. The International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association favors both proposals and today urged their passage.

House Bill 171 allows smoking in designated segregated ventilated smoking rooms in licensed gaming facilities. House Bill 1310 provides that local liquor control commissions have the power to issue smoking licenses to bars and other adult-oriented establishments that have revenues with no more than 10 percent from food sales.

“The so-called Smoke Free Illinois Act prohibited smoking in all indoor workplaces and public places including bars/taverns, restaurants, private clubs and casinos beginning January 1, 2008. These bills back off at least somewhat from that draconian, irrational position by allowing, under certain circumstances, smoking in casinos and cigar bars and other adult places. As we see it, this would be a return to reason and we support their passage,” said Chris McCalla, legislative director of the IPCPR.

McCalla noted that the Illinois Gaming Board has confirmed that passage of HB 171 “could have a positive impact on revenues” and it is generally acknowledged that re-creation of cigar bars also will generate increased revenues for the state as well as local authorities through licensing, taxes, jobs and sales taxes.
“It’s the smart thing to do,” said McCalla. “It’s good for business, good for jobs and good for the state. “
The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis has declared that the current statewide smoking ban was the primary reason that its nine casinos lost $400 million in revenues in its first year. The study showed that the smoking ban was chiefly responsible for a 22 percent decline in revenues compared to recent years. It was also responsible for the improved or more stable performance of casinos in nearby states during the same period. In addition, local communities also lost over $12 million in casino tax revenues.
For those concerned about secondhand smoke, don’t be, McCalla advised. He cited the safe levels of secondhand smoke established by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

“There is a falsely placed prejudice regarding secondhand smoke that never should have been allowed to fester in the first place. Even OSHA has established safe levels of secondhand smoke and those levels are literally thousands of times higher than normally found in bars and restaurants that allow smoking.”


IL Libertarian Dude said...

The Illinois state smoking ban is what led Harrah's Metropolis casino(in Metropolis, IL, just NW of Paducah) to lay off 30 employees in early 2008. I am going to make sure that lawmakers hear this via email from myself, before they do a hearing on this issue:

And yes, I'm still around. Took a little break from using my blog, but am trying to use it again.


Anonymous said...

Hey illinois I dont smoke but I do not think passing a law without letting those people whose rights have been taken away is not the way we are supposed to do things....... Whatsoever next without our knowledge? Plus now ....did you know cigarette butts do not disappear ? You know like sidewalk chalk? No they are ALWAYS there . Oh yeah so are those who are drinking and swearing and talking bar talk outside. Oh I know we should clean it up but people dont always throw the butts in the right place. Sooo The grass and rocks amd gravel still have butts. I dont smoke but I choose to go where I want to go least for the.time being . What happened to the people getting a say .you have hurt the economy and now have to rethink what youve done .....had you put it there for to .the owners and thier customers to VOTE on you would've saved alot of money ..maybe il would have some. I am scared that this.kind of thing will.keep.happening.until the people have less and less freedom . We are a different country......a free country .....and that is supposed to been why everybody else comes HERE. thanks for letting me say what I want by the way. Yay USA !!!! Still Free!!