October 24, 2006

Voters Get the Chance to Cut Through the Smoke In Nevada...A Little

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Voters in Nevada this coming election will get the chance to help reduce the smoking in casino venues.
Sadly, gaming floors are staying smoke-able. Most of us here at Casnio Snob are non-smokers, and we are all hoping secretly that our favorite gaming establishments will begin to adopt more non-smoking policies. Nothing takes the buzz of your awesome night of gaming like that headache that sneaks in from too much lingering smoke.

Neither of two competing measures on next month's ballot to restrict smoking in Nevada dares to prohibit smoking in casinos.

The gaming-floor exemption to both smoking ban proposals reflects Nevada's libertarian attitude toward compulsive behavior and the understanding that smoking, drinking and gambling go hand in hand.

Preventing gamblers from smoking, the assumption goes, would be bad for business, and therefore bad for the state.

Some gaming insiders are quietly worried that in the next decade, a wave of public opinion may be calling for a total ban on casino smoking.

But evidence suggests that Nevada could acclimate to nonsmoking casinos and that the gaming industry could actually benefit by it over the long haul - while sparing casino employees the health risks of working around smokers.

Question 5 on next month's ballot, supported by the Nevada State Medical Association, the American Cancer Society and other health groups, would ban smoking in most venues save for the gaming floors of casinos. The initiative exempts bars that don't serve meals, although most bars in Nevada - partly to comply with a law allowing slot machines in bars only if gaming is "incidental" to the business - also prepare food.

Question 4, backed by gaming interests as a response to Question 5, would ban smoking in retail stores, galleries, libraries, museums and similar places that already tend to be nonsmoking, while allowing bars as well as grocery stores and convenience stores with slots to continue to accommodate smokers in those gambling alcoves.

If both petitions get more than half of the vote, the petition with the most votes would win.

Read the whole article over at the Casino City Times

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Posted by Russell Miner at October 24, 2006 9:56 AM
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