Casinos in Illinois want exempt from the smoke
A recent bill passed by the
Illinois legislation would stop smoking at the casinos and other
public indoor places.
the bill has even been signed by the Gov. Ron Blagojevich, who
said that he will sign the bill, some lawmakers and casino
representatives want to roll back parts of it. The bill, passed
earlier this week, in its essence would ban smoking in all
indoor public places, such as casinos, restaurants and bars
throughout Illinois. However, it met a strong opposition from
the casinos in the state, as well as some lawmakers.
The main concern raised by the
Illinois casino representatives was that many of the gamblers in
the state are actually smokers, and the casinos and the state
would loose millions of dollars, when those gamblers choose to
go at the neighboring states with legal gambling.
Some lawmakers also support
the casinos on this issue, such as Sen. Mike Jacobs (D-East
Moline), who fears that prohibiting gamblers from smoking on
Illinois casino boats will just drive them across the
Mississippi River to Iowa's casinos, costing the state needed
Rep. Patrick Verschoore
(D-Milan) supports the casino exemption, and would like to even
go further and permit smoking at other indoor places, urged by
email he received complaining about the smoking ban. Mr.
Verschoore admits it's a long shot, yet something that should be
The smoking ban is expected to
cut at least 20% of the casinos' revenues, and would cost
Illinois as much as $60 million each year just from cigarette