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News Summary

Bill to ban smoking in Iowa casinos stalls

Publication Date: 2/13/2013
  • Author:William Petroski
  • Publication:DesMoinesRegister.com

A bill to ban smoking in the state’s 18 commercial casinos has stalled in an Iowa Senate subcommittee, but the issue isn’t dead and may still be debated this session, a key lawmaker said Tuesday.

Senate Study Bill 1107 would end an exemption to Iowa’s Smokefree Air Act that allows people to smoke inside casinos. Smoking is otherwise generally banned in enclosed public places under the 2008 law, including bars and restaurants and places of employment.

The bill was considered in a Senate State Government subcommittee chaired by Sen. Janet Petersen, D-Des Moines, an author of the original anti-smoking legislation. She favored immediately moving the bill to the full Senate committee, but Sens. Steve Sodders, D-State Center, and Bill Anderson, R-Pierson, both declined, suggesting they needed more time to study the issue.

Iowa’s gambling industry strongly opposes ending the ban, saying it would hurt profits at the state’s casinos and would result in the annual loss of $60 million to $80 million in casino tax revenue...