Casinos join smoking ban fight

If a major casino lobbying group has its say, the Nevada Clean Indoor Air Act will go into effect as it was passed. That’s the big news today–that the NRA (note: they don’t care about the 2nd amendment) is on the side of the anti-smokers. From the LVRJ:

As they head back into court today, supporters of the state’s new anti-smoking law have a surprising ally in their fight to uphold the law.

The Nevada Resort Association, the lobbying arm of the largest and most powerful casino companies, filed court papers Monday opposing the bar and tavern owners’ lawsuit that seeks to throw out the smoking ban.

Because the association had supported a less-restrictive anti-smoking law on the November ballot, the American Cancer Society’s Buffy Martin-Tarbox said she was “perplexed and shocked” at the association’s move. “Maybe they came to their senses,” she said.

Bill Bible, the resort association’s president, could not be reached for comment Monday, and the association’s lawyer, Todd Bice, declined to comment.

The association’s filing to intervene in the case came a day before supporters and opponents of the law were to make their arguments to District Judge Douglas Herndon.

According to the association’s filing, the group was prompted to join the court battle by a couple of the claims of the law’s opponents: that the law’s treatment of businesses with restricted and unrestricted gaming licenses is unconstitutional and that it is unclear whether the new smoking ban applies to hotel rooms. — News – Casinos join smoking battle

Unlike the Harrah’s LBO, this story will immediately impact people who live, work, and play in Nevada. I half-expected the NRA to oppose the smoking ban out of principle–that it’s not the state’s business if private businesses choose to permit their patrons to smoke–but apparently that’s not the case.

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