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Got a ‘Smoking License’?

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (IRN) - State lawmakers in Illinois are busy trying to improve business – in casinos and elsewhere – by making exceptions to the state’s no-smoking law and also adding slot machines to horse racing tracks.

A bill sponsored by State Rep. Anthony DeLuca (D-Chicago Heights) would allow local authorities to issue “smoking licenses” to such businesses as bars and strip clubs. It passed a House committee, as did separate bills to allow smoking in casinos.

State Rep. Dan Burke’s bill would make casinos an outright exception to Smoke Free Illinois, while a bill sponsored by State Rep. Andre Thapedi (D-Chicago) would restrict smoking to certain rooms of casinos.

The American Cancer Society and American Lung Association are against the measures, saying there is no way to fully ventilate a room to make it safe from second-hand smoke; and that nobody should have to be subjected to smoke to earn a paycheck.

A gambling expansion bill sponsored by State Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie) would allow slot machines at horse race tracks. Casino owners do not like this bill because it would increase the number of legal gambling facilities in the state from ten to sixteen.

HB 1310 (smoking licenses), HB 1965 (allowing smoking in casinos), HB 171 (allowing smoking rooms in casinos), and HB 3107 (slots at tracks) have all passed the House Executive Committee.

Copyright Illinois Radio Network

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