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Lariat Letters: Ill-informed editorial

Nov. 19, 2010

I agree with most of the "Worker's safety should be worth more than ashes to casino owners" editorial. However, on two points you missed the boat: 1) the suggestion of "smoke-free areas for gambling within their casino" ignores the facts that smoke drifts and that even small amounts of smoke cause health problems. 2) Atlantic City did not end their complete ban because (as you imply) casinos were suffering economically from it.

Their revenue increased during the ban, compared with the months preceding and following the ban. You seem to have taken your statement that they "lifted the ban a month later due to complaints from the city's casinos" almost directly from the UPI article "Las Vegas: A haven for smokers" of November 12, which stated (incorrectly) that they "gave up a month later after complaints from casinos". The fact is that the city council voted to revoke the ban before it took force, but they needed a second reading a month later to legally lift the ban. By the time they saw that revenues had actually risen, they apparently had had enough embarrassment, and then swept the whole issue under the carpet. Learn from this: the success of the gambling industry does not depend on smoking, and good journalism does not consist of rewording and perpetuating other journalists' mistakes.

Chris Schultz
The Pennsylvania State
University, '66