Senate rejects smoking exemption for casinos

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. The Senate voted 15-35 Wednesday night to exempt the nine casinos from the statewide smoking ban in public places that took effect in January. The measure needed 30 votes to pass.

Casinos say the ban has crippled their revenues and threatens to cost the state as much as $100 million in lost taxes this year. They argue they need to be able to compete with casinos in neighboring states where gamblers can light up.

Smoking ban advocates say the ban has helped provide a healthier environment for casino patrons and workers and the lost revenue is more a product of a tough economy.

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The bill is SB2707.

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