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News Summary

Iowa lawmakers seek compromise on smoking ban

Publication Date: 9/16/2008
  • Author:Mike Glover
  • Publication:Forbes

A state lawmaker says a small group of legislators is quietly assembling a compromise to allow gambling devices in adult-only establishments as a way to ease bar owners' concerns about Iowa's new smoking ban.

Rep. Brian Quirk, D-New Hampton, said allowing limited and "heavily regulated" gambling machines in bars could help offset a decline in business that some bar owners complain is a direct result of the smoking ban, which went into effect in July.

"We are looking at trying to remedy a problem," he told The Associated Press on Monday. He declined to identify the other lawmakers he's working with on the plan.

Quirk said the group is suggesting that gaming devices such as video Keno be allowed in adult-only establishments.

He noted that the Iowa Smokefree Air Act, which prohibits smoking in nearly all public places including restaurants and most bars, exempts casinos, putting bars at a disadvantage.