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Proposed state law to allow casino smoking

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December 31, 2010

A decline in casino revenues is believed to be in part of the current smoking law. Two bills have been introduced that would eliminate the current smoking ban in casinos. If passed, it would allow for smoking to be legalized in certain gaming facilities.

Introduced by Andrew Thapedi, Chicago Democratic Rep, House Bill 1850 would allow for smoking in Riverboat casinos. Newer ventilation systems will have to be installed. Employees that work there will also need to agree to work in the smoking areas. This bill possibly could be voted on within a week.

Casinos located near the state's boarders also may be allowing smoking again. Competing casinos on the other side of the state line allow for smoking. House Bill 1846 calls for the ban to be ended.

The smoking ban was put into effect in 2008. Since that time the state casino revenues have declined. A report by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis stated that the current states laws are the primary reason. It also stated that this has caused the state to lose $200 million in tax revenue.

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