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Pa smoking ban will affect casinos, bars, to some extend

Pa smoking ban will affect casinos, bars, to some extend The Pennsylvania smoking ban is now an inch away from a fact - the State Senate yesterday overwhelming approved a bill to ban smoking in virtually all public places and most work sites throughout the state. The bill has been sent to Gov. Rendell, who is expected to sign the bill and make it a law, becoming effective 90 days after the signature. The new Pa smoking law will ban smoking in all public places including hospitals, schools and sports facilities, taxis, trains, buses and their stations. The Pa smoking ban will also affect all restaurants. Exemptions are present in the bill, however, including bars which derive less than 20% of annual revenue in food sales, private clubs and luckily - tobacco shops and cigar bars. Pennsylvania has long been the cigar capital of the United States and many of the most famous cigar shops are located in that state. Private homes and other residences and vehicles (unless used for child-care services), long-term care facilities, as well as residential facilities used for drug and alcohol rehabilitation and mental-health services are all exempt from the smoking ban. Hotels would be permitted to allow smoking in up to 25% of their rooms and sports fans would be allowed to smoke in designated areas at the venues.

 The Pa smoking ban also has an exemption for the casinos in the state, located outside of Philadelphia. The two casinos located in Philly are already banned from allowing any smoking in the gambling facilities, under a previous Philadelphia law, and the new smoking bill will not change this. But the casinos outside of the Quaker City have caught a break - casinos would be permitted to allow smoking in up to 50% of their gaming halls, much to the disapproval of the gambling competitors in neighboring New Jersey, who have lost a big chunk of their business to Pennsylvania, thanks to a full casino smoking ban in Atlantic City. But there is a catch to the 50% at the casinos - the gambling businesses must prove to the state Department of Revenue that the smoking ban is harming its business. If they fail to do so, only 25% of the gaming floor would be open for smoking.

 Published on 06/11/2008

Related News:

 Atlantic City bans smoking at the casinos
 Detroit casinos threatened by the smoking ban




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