Casino air also an issue in Montana

On Oct. 1, a casino exemption in the Montana Clean Indoor Air Act will expire, and casinos will have to ban smoking. That state is now hearing complaints similar to those voiced by Nevada restaurants and bars.

“My clients are worried about it,” Cascade County Tavern Association director John Hayes told the Great Falls Tribune. “They know they are going to take a hit. Oregon put in a smoking ban last January, and gaming revenues were down 25 percent the first month and an additional 15 percent the next. Business will probably crawl back, but we just don’t know how long it will take. This will be hard on marginal operations.”

The law was enacted in 2005 and covered all public buildings except, temporarily, casinos and some bars.

However, unlike Nevada, Montana has tribal casinos and that introduces an element Nevada has not had to deal with. The law does not apply to tribal reservations, which gives them a competitive advantage unless they also adopt no-smoking laws.

Under the Nevada Clear Indoor Air Act smoking is permitted in casino gambling areas, stand-alone bars, taverns and saloons that do not serve food, strip clubs and brothels, and retail tobacco stores.