Smoke-free casino tops tourist destination study

Published 1:05 am Tuesday, December 30, 2008

When it comes to developing a new tourist destination on the Mississippi Gulf Coast most respondents in a recent study say they would prefer a smoke-free casino.

The study was commissioned by the Mississippi Gulf Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau. However, officials warn the study will probably not give a boost to any smoking ban proposal.

That’s because casinos in Atlantic City, Colorado and Illinois say they have lost millions of dollars due to smoking bans. Atlantic City’s casinos tried it for one month, but with the sluggish economy, city officials repealed the ban.

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The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board also released a report showing machines in smoking sections earn up to 120 percent more, depending on the casino.