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Illinois Smoking Ban Drives Away Casino Gamblers

But there are apparently always some with Nazi-like instincts who wish to tell others what is best, and if need be to force them to conform.

Politically correct behavior is enforced by laws around the country. Vices which affect no one but the individual who chooses to indulge are outlawed by groups looking to impose their prejudices and preferences on others. This is an ongoing battle in the legislatures around the country. The true irony arises when one of the issues debated, gambling, continues to provide more and greater benefits to communities everywhere, yet future prospects are dimmed, be it ever so slightly, by defeats on another vice: smoking.

It seems that the laissez-faire attitude associated with gamblers and casinos would lead to free thinking in other areas. But there are apparently always some with Nazi-like instincts who wish to tell others what is best, and if need be to force them to conform. Smoking seems so natural a part of the casino environment, even non-smokers would find it strange not to see wisps of smoke curling over the heads of card players and slot patrons.

Yet, there are those who would ban smoking from even private places they make a choice to frequent. As of January 1st, Illinois law no longer permitted smoking in the state's casinos, and the effect has been felt... but not in a good way.

Harrah's Metropolis Riverboat has been forced to lay off over thirty workers in response to declining business. According to casino management, customers of the casino are visiting less frequently and for shorter stays since the smoking ban was enacted.

The mayor of Metropolis, Billy McDaniel, had predicted the new law would have deleterious effects on casino business, and on the local economy as a whole. It seems McDaniel was dead-on in his forecast.

As casino revenues drop, so do payments to states, revenue which is desperately needed to fund budgets across the country. Can't the would-be do-gooders relax for once, and allow people freedom of choice?

Published on February 8, 2008 by JoshuaMcCarthy

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