Casinos Could Be Added to Smoking Ban

By: Ashley Fielder
By: Ashley Fielder

The ban that took effect this summer outlaws smoking in most indoor public places, including bars and restaurants, but casinos in the state's three gambling towns are exempt.

It's a very divided community in one of those towns, Cripple Creek.

Casino owners say business will drop, but some non-smoking gamers say gambling is affecting their health.

Casinos are one of the last places smokers can light up in Colorado, now proponents of Bill 1269 are trying to ban it, and some smokers aren't happy.

“I wouldn't come if I couldn't smoke. I think it's everybody's right to do what they want to do,” said one Gold Rush Patron.

But Representative Anne McGihon, who introduced the bill, says it's also the right of non-smokers to breath clean air.

“About 8000 casino workers breathe second hand smoke everyday,” said Rep. Anne McGihon.

Non-smoking gamers feel the same way.

“I think it's great. I'd like to gamble and not go home smelling like smoke.”

But some casino owners say the ban has been done elsewhere, and the results aren't in their favor.

“You can look at Deleware and Windsor, they saw significant drops in revenue, and I think we'd see that here too,” said Gold Rush General Manager, Michael Hirsch.

If passed, the ban would affect all 45 commercial casinos in the state of Colorado.

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