Home » Economy »Politics/Policy »Smoke Free »Sunday Poll » Currently Reading:

Poll: Should Casinos Be Exempt From Smoke-Free Laws?

November 28, 2010 Economy, Politics/Policy, Smoke Free, Sunday Poll 10 Comments
ABOVE: The Casino Queen casino in East St Louis IL is smoke-free, for now.
ABOVE: The Casino Queen casino in East St Louis IL is smoke-free, for now.

Casinos are not for me, even if they are smoke-free.  Since the first of 2008 casinos in Illinois have been smoke-free.  In July 2009 the St. Louis Federal Reserve released a study, No Ifs, Ands or Butts: Illinois Casinos Lost Revenue after Smoking Banned,  showing Illinois lost $200 million in 2008 and the local economies lost $12 million:

“One of the reasons that the smoking ban has been more contentious for casinos than for other types of businesses is the contribution that gambling taxes make to state and local tax revenue. In Illinois, casinos are subject to a per-capita admissions tax, as well as a progressive tax on gambling revenue. Revenue from these taxes is divided between the state government and the governments of the communities in which the casinos are located.”

When the City of St. Louis and St. Louis County passed smoke-free laws in 2009 both exempted casinos.

ABOVE: River City Casino in St. Louis County will continue to have smoking even after January 2, 2011
ABOVE: River City Casino in St. Louis County will continue to have smoking even after January 2, 2011 when other businesses in St. Louis County go smoke-free.

Now the Illinois legislature is considering exempting their casinos.

“Smoking could soon be allowed again in Illinois casinos. State legislators are considering changing the two-year-old law because casino profits and local revenues are being hit hard.” (KMOV)

For the poll this week I’m asking if casinos should be exempt from smoke-free laws.  I’ve included a range of answers but if one doesn’t fit you can fill in your own.  The poll is in the upper right corner of the blog.

– Steve Patterson


Currently there are "10 comments" on this Article:

  1. Generalsn1234567 says:

    As the second winter approached, many small working class neighborhood bars (not family restaurants that serve alcohol with meals) had to decide whether to allow smoking, or close.

  2. Alfred Fickensher says:

    Personally, I like going into smoke-stinkless restaurants both in Illinois (right across The River here in our Quad Cities Metro where we straddle The River) and in Iowa, both states which have gone smoke-free.

    Pragmatically, I'd probably begrudgingly allow smoking in casinos. There's the argument that smokers will stay longer in a gambling chair if they can smoke while sitting there. As for the casino workers health? Well . . . . the teentsy-little free-enterpriser part that's in this old Liberal says that's just one of the occupational hazzards of working for that scumbag industry.

  3. MiamiStreet63139 says:

    Your survey response options are highly flawed. I can only be in favor of banning smoking in casinos if it's to protect worker health? I'm in favor of banning smoking in casinos and it has nothing to do withthe health of people that choose to show up for a paycheck, and everything to do with simply banning smoking in all indoor spaces. You should have had an option “No, smoke free laws should apply to all indoor spaces.”

  4. JZ71 says:

    There are two separate issues, the “unfair adavantage” that Missouri casinos have over their Illinois competitors, and free eneterprise versus government mandates. Since serious smokers and serious gamblers both have addictive personalities, it should be no surprise that the casino industry tends to oppose smoking bans, to maximize revenues. It'll be really interesting to see how Harrah's recent addition of a major non-smoking section works – http://www.harrahsstlouis.com/casinos/harrahs-stlouis/casino-gambling/smoke-free-and-smoke-freely-detail.html – but casinos are also adept at fitting into whatever box they're given, whether it's loss limits, the need to cruise, limits on the types of games, no free drinks, etc, etc. If both sides of the river had the same bans and the same rules, this would be a non-issue.

    The other issue is one that's already been beaten to death by both sides. Smoking is unhealthy and stinks, but remains a legal activity. I'm in the camp that the government should not be hypocritical. If they're going to tax the product and profit from it, they should leave it up to individual establishments to limit or prohibit its use, or not. And if it's actually as dangerous as the anti-smoking advocates allege, then grow some cojones, make it ilegal, give up the tax stream, and protect both smokers and non-smokers from this addictive, cancerous product!

  5. Luke says:


  6. E-liquid says:

    In a casino, expect someone there smokes. But I personally think that smoking in any closed places like restaurants and casinos should be banned for safety precautions.

  7. Mr Casino says:

    Why not have the normal allocated smoking areas within the casino as well as in the restaurants. Give people options we like options.

  8. Certain activities may be exempt from the tobacco-free guideline – cultural … Going tobacco and smoke-free is a growing trend on college and university …

  9. e-cigarettes says:

    E-cigarettes are the best alternative to quit smoking. It can be used any public place, restaurants, clubs, bars and casinos etc.. These are smoke free so we can use it anywhere..


Comment on this Article: