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Legislator seeks partial smoking ban in Conn. casinos

Publication Date: 2/26/2008
  • Author:Erica Jacobson
  • Publication:MetroWest Daily News, MA

Gamblers headed to Connecticut's casinos may need to leave their cigarettes and cigars at home if a bill introduced last week in the state legislature becomes law.

Senate Bill 419 seeks to ban smoking in all areas of Connecticut's casinos covered by state liquor permits.

"I've always been concerned with the issue of smoking and, particularly, smoking in the workplace," state Sen. Mary Ann Handley, D-Manchester, chairwoman of the Public Health Committee and chief deputy majority leader, said. "We have an opinion from the attorney general that the sovereignty issue does not affect this because the restaurants and bars operate under liquor licenses from the state of Connecticut."

Sovereignty issue

Mohegan Sun representatives were unavailable for comment Monday night. A spokesman for the Mashantucket Pequot tribe, owners of Foxwoods Resort Casino, said the bill addresses an issue where honest people would have differences of opinion as to the proper thing to do.

"I think the legislature would be getting into territory where there are serious questions about jurisdiction," he said.