Louisiana Casino Smoking Debate Hits Lake Charles

Louisiana Casino Smoking Debate Hits Lake Charles

The fight to end smoking in casinos based in Louisiana has now shifted to Lake Charles, near the border of Texas.

What is different about Lake Charles?

The biggest cities in Louisiana, including Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and Shreveport have all banned smoking in their respective casinos. That leaves only Lakes Charles as the only large city that doesn’t have a smoke-free ordinance for its bars and casinos. Recently, the Shreveport City Council voted to postpone the ban till August 2021.

Louisiana Casino Smoking Debate Hits Lake Charles

A coalition of health professionals in Louisiana wants to change the status quo in Lake Charles and bring a smoking ban. The coalition has been spending money since this summer to advertise in the city and focus on the benefits of a smoke-free workplace.

Baton Rouge based consultant Randy Hayden noted,

“In this coronavirus era, where everybody is concerned about health-care issues, we think the time is perfect to have local governments mandate smoke-free environments for all employees, including bars and casinos.”

He is working with national lobbying group Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights.

Groups all-in on advertising

The lobby group has stared running ads on print and digital newspapers, billboards, magazines, and radio stations. They are also targeting social media sites to deliver their respective message. More recently, advocates of the gaming industry have started suggesting that a smoking ban will only lead their customers a way to nearby states where smoking is allowed.

Louisiana Casino Association’s executive director Wade Duty noted that the revenue of New Orleans and Baton Rouge casinos fell by 15-17% after they outlawed smoking. He said that the revenue drop can be attributed to a ban on smoking. It also leads to layoffs and leaves the state with millions of lesser taxes as well.

The city hasn’t placed a smoking ban on its agenda this month. However, councilwoman Mary Morris aims to bring it up when a larger number of people can attend the meeting. Attendance has been less because of the pandemic.


About sherlock

Sherlock Gomes loves to write and express his views on anything related to Gaming, Gambling, & Casino. He has been covering Gaming for more than two years now.