Archive for Friday, July 9, 2010

Statehouse Live: Banning smoking in casinos would be costly, officials say

July 9, 2010


— Casino officials on Friday said banning smoking from their facilities would greatly reduce revenues.

“Once you eliminate smoking in a casino, you see a 30 to 35 percent drop in revenue,” said Marty Naumann, vice president of operations for Kansas Entertainment, which is building a casino next to the Kansas Speedway.

Clint Patty, an attorney representing the Boot Hill Casino and Resort in Dodge City, said studies show that removing smoking in casinos drives down business.

Under state law, 22 percent of gambling revenues at state-owned casinos goes back to the state.

The comments came during a general discussion on smoking in casinos before the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission.

A statwide ban on smoking in public, indoor places took effect July 1, but exempted casinos. A subsequent lawsuit resulted in a court order blocking the ban in 31 private clubs.

More legal challenges are expected. Many owners of bars and bingo parlors have said it is unconstitutional that they must ban smoking but that casinos are exempted.

Patty said Boot Hill spent more than $1 million on a filtration system to remove smoke from the air.

Don Brownlee, director of security for the Kanas Racing and Gaming Commission, said smoking is pervasive on the gaming floor at Boot Hill.

“The Boot Hill casino put in a fairly expensive system to try to filter that out. It doesn’t filter it all out, but for the number of smokers I see, it does a very good job of limiting the effects,” Brownlee said.


ralphralph 7 years, 7 months ago

There should be no exceptions ... OR, no smoking ban to begin with. Smoking should only be banned in places where I have no choice but to enter and remain. If a bar is too smoky for me, then I am free to go ... I've done it a number of times. Viewed from the workers point of view, which is the only rational basis I can halfway agree with, then you can't exempt the state and allow them to poison their workers, if that's the basis for banning it at all other locations.

frank mcguinness 7 years, 7 months ago

Since when is our government not two faced?

mistygreen 7 years, 7 months ago

They are so worried about their precious smokers. What about a non-smoker like me that cannot tolerate being around smoke. Guess it's a win-win for me, I don't go to the casino and I get to keep my money.

bocktar 7 years, 7 months ago

Exactly. The hypocrisy here is unbelievable. Beyond that, haven't all of these laws been passed under the guise of protecting employees in the workplace? How is it that casino employees should be exempt from protection? Don't get me wrong... I actually like being able to go everywhere and not come home smelling like an ashtray, but I'm even more for transparency and fairness.

Tom Wilson 7 years, 7 months ago

Why not just ban gambling while we are at it? After all, isn't it potentially dangerous to one's financial well being? ...just as smoking is potentially dangerous to one's physical well being. While we are at it, why not just ban everything YOU disagree with? To hell with individual freedoms. YOU make the call.

bocktar 7 years, 7 months ago

Gambling does not pose a direct risk to employees of those establishments as does second-hand smoke.

Liberty275 7 years, 7 months ago

Once you eliminate smoking in a casino, you see a 30 to 35 percent drop in revenue

Hypocrites. You can shove your bayonets into the backs of the small business owners and force them to give up 30 to 35% of their revenue and have the audacity to defend the same revenue stream for yourselves?

Why don't you just line us all up and spit in our faces too?

Scott Drummond 7 years, 7 months ago

And how nice of Mr. Brownlee, a supposed public servant, to fall so happily in line with his masters' bidding. The best government corporations can purchase. Disgusting.

d_prowess 7 years, 7 months ago

I am sure there is some study that they used to come up with the "30-35% drop in revenue" figure, but has any state actually banned smoking in a casino?

KUnlv13 7 years, 7 months ago

Here in NV, our smoking ban in establishments that serve food did in effect serve as a smoking ban upon a casino entity, in that many of the gaming parlors (think bar, not hotel-casino) pay their bills from the gaming revenue; often comping all food and beverage while you shove a $20 in the machine. The relationship regarding the compulsive behavior among gamblers and smokers is undeniable, just stroll through the modern casino.

Many of these dives, mostly mom & pop outfits did end up closing their doors do to a reduction in revenue following our ban, however the chain and well-established gaming bars/restaurants survived; as I figure KS casinos will as well if yours were to go into effect.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 7 months ago

The urge to gamble is greater than the urge to smoke. Gambling will never stop!

Ban smoking across the board!

HW 7 years, 7 months ago

"Under state law, 22 percent of gambling revenues at state-owned casinos goes back to the state."

If the casino is state-owned, shouldn't 100% of the revenues go back to the state? Where do the other 78% of the revenues go? I am sure that private owners of casinos don't keep just 22% of the revenues. I am pretty sure they keep 100% of the revenues (after taxes of course).

jafs 7 years, 7 months ago

Good question.

I'm sure some of the revenue goes to operating costs and salaries, but 78% seems a bit high for that.

situveux1 7 years, 7 months ago

Gee, I've heard these arguments before. I wonder where?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 7 months ago

The exemption from the ban for casinos will be declared unconstitutional, but the rest of the new state ban will be upheld.

pace 7 years, 7 months ago

They don't care what happens to private business but when it hits their slush fund they get open minded and practical.

Waldoneatsie 6 years ago

Since I'm allergic to smoke I rarely can ever go to a casino except in the middle of the night during the week. Smoking is a disgusting, filthy, costly habit so if a person could not smoke in a casino it would only be doing them a good service! The tiny few that would stop going to a casino because they could not smoke would be offset by those who would start going because of the lack of stinking smoke.

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