Smoking and Casinos Collided in Michigan

Smoking and Casinos Collided in Michigan

The legislative process in the United States is one of the most interesting across the country, primarily because of what special interest groups can accomplish if they get the chance. The current debate over smoking is a perfect example of that as it seems at the moment as though it is the people of Michigan against the three major commercial casinos of Detroit.

The bill on the table is one that has the support of the people in every poll that has been taken on the issue. In addition to that, the bill on the table is also one that state Governor Jennifer Granholm has agreed to sign as soon as it reaches her desk. Finally, the bill on the table is also one that in theoretical terms has the support of a majority of Republicans and a majority of Democrats in the state legislature. However, when the vote actually took place, the bill was stalled in the lower house and ultimately failed to pass.

Smoking Ban

The bill is worded in such a way that it will ban smoking in all workplaces. This includes not only workplaces that are strictly only occupied by employees, but also workplaces that are service venues such as bars, restaurants and of course casinos. Since there are people working in these establishments they do count as workplaces and for that reason the smoking ban that is currently stalled in the legislature of the Michigan state congress is one that would apply to them.

The casinos in Detroit have been lobbying hard against the bill however, utilizing the argument that they would lose money with this ban very effectively. They have argued that a similar ban in neighbouring Canadian province Ontario has resulted in many people coming to Detroit casinos instead of going to ones in Windsor and that if Michigan were to pass this law, the casinos would lose business as people started going back to the closer casinos with smoking banned in both cities. This in turn would lead to the loss of jobs in the Detroit casinos.

Detroit Casinos

Some have accused the Detroit casinos of being self-serving and bargaining for votes with the jobs of some of their employees, but whether the tactic is or is not ultimately a self-serving one it does appear to have gained some traction as many Democrats that previously supported the bill are now against it. It looks as though the bill in is current form is going to stall on the floor of the state legislature for some time and for that reason many people are now considering a rewrite to exempt casinos from the bills.

A previous bill that was put through the lower house of the congress with no problem included exemptions not only for commercial casinos, but also for shops specializing in tobacco, cigar bars and halls for bingo. It appears that in light of the failure of the exemption-free bill that passed the senate but failed in the house, that bill is going to have to be revisited by the members of the Michigan state legislature.

May 17, 2011 by : posted in Gambling Abroad No Comments