Casinos Blame Smoking Ban For Fewer Visitors

New reports show visits to Illinois' nine casinos for 2008 is down by almost a million visitors compared to the same time period (January through August) in 2007. Tom Swoik, executive director of the Illinois Casino Gaming Association, blames the smoking ban that went into effect in January, saying the ban is, "having a major impact...[gamblers] are spending less time on the machines. They'll play for two hours and then take a half-hour break." According to the Illinois Gaming Board, adjust gross receipts are down 18 percent while the state share of admission and wagering taxes is down over 25 percent. Right. We're sure it's all about the smoking and has nothing to do with the economic turmoil that's been worsening throughout the year.

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