International edition
September 23, 2020

Casinos in several states said they lost millions due to smoking bans

Smoking ban seen as bad bet in Biloxi

(US).- What is good for Gulfport may not work in Biloxi, where the city’;s eight casinos could take a hit from a smoking ban. Biloxi considered a smoking ban this year but the proposal didn’;t have council support to pass and was never brought to a vote.

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Talk of a statewide ban topped the agenda when the Mississippi House Gaming Committee met in Biloxi on December 17,” Representative John Mayo said he will introduce the legislation in the upcoming session. The smoking ban has died in committee the past seven years and he doesn’t see it passing this year, either.

A study recently commissioned by the Mississippi Gulf Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau showed the most-preferred new tourism product to be a smoke-free casino, with 42 % of those responding putting it at the top of the list, above a dinner cruise and oceanarium.

Casino operators, though, can make a case that smoke-free floors will hurt their business. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board just released a report showing machines in smoking sections earned 60 to 120 % more, depending on the casino.

Casinos in Atlantic City, Colorado and Illinois say they’ve lost millions due to smoking bans.

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