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    Wednesday, March 21, 2007

    Colorado Smoking Ban

    It has been almost a year since all public areas in Colorado have become non-smoking. The exception of this law has been Cigar Bars, the smoker’s lounge at Denver International Airport, and Casinos.

    I won’t say I'm allergic to cigarette smoke, but I am somewhat bothered by it. I choose to avoid it if I can. For years, this has been a tradeoff issue for me. Even though casinos and bingo halls have non-smoking sections, I know that I will still come home smelling of smoke. I enjoy the games too much to let it deter me, but on the other hand a smoke free casino for my wife would be a great benefit for me.

    The latest word out of the Colorado House of Representatives is they have turned away a new
    house bill that would make all casinos non-smoking. The language of the bill 1269 only encompasses casinos, and the members of the house voted 18-17 against it. It seems the main objection is that this bill should cover all areas previously mentioned. So it’s now back to the Senate.

    Smokers will find a way to smoke, that's the truth. Some bars in
    Colorado Springs, CO have chosen to buck the laws and allow smoking in their restaurants and have a collection plate from patrons to help pay for any fines. The one I really like is as you exit a restaurant you now walk through a cloud of smoke as you come out the door. The original ban states that smoking must not occur within 5 feet of the entrance to an establishment. Who's going to sit there with a tape measure and enforce this regulation to the people?

    On the other spectrum, places like Ameristar Casino in Black Hawk, CO was one of the first to say that their restaurants would be completely non-smoking, while still allowing patrons to smoke on the casino floors. Not a requirement by law, but management felt that if every other restaurant in CO was going to be non-smoking, they should follow suite.

    Non-smoking sections in casinos are nothing new. I remember the first non-smoking room that I went to at Spirit Mountain Casino in Grand Ronde,
    Oregon. It was small, had some older games, and the service wasn't that great. It also seemed that the new games were just outside the non-smoking doors and were louder, as if they were trying to draw you out. Things have since changed, as the room has gotten progressively larger, there are newer games, and the service is faster. They have also placed a concession stand outside the doors of the section. So now instead of smelling smoke, you smell hot dogs.

    Since this session of Congress is almost over, it appears it will be at least another year before we can address the smoking issue again. However, as more and more places explore this concept, one has to wonder how long it can go on. Will casinos ever go fully non-smoking? Will it really matter? Will it actually hurt the casino’s bottom line? As some have fought on this issue, what’s more addictive and more important to an addict, smoking or gambling?

    Just a few thoughts...... J

    1 comment:

    abigail said...

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