According to a new study unveiled by the Tobacco Control journal, the imposed smoking ban in casinos has not had a negative impact on the performance of Illinois casinos. Casino officials in the state, however, expressed their disagreement with the methods used in the study and revealed that decline was registered in casino revenues following the ban.
Illinois became one of the first US states to introduce a ban on smoking in commercial casinos back in 2008. The piece of legislation, called The Smoke-Free Illinois Act, prohibited smoking in commercial casino venues. Under the provisions of the Act, smoking is also prohibited within 15 feet of the entrances of gambling venues.
The research authors were aimed to find out more about the effects that the ban had on casino revenues, so they analysed the casino receipts and admissions for a decade before and eight years after the above-mentioned piece of legislation came into effect. Researchers took into account not only the figures for Illinois, but also for the states of Iowa, Indiana and Missouri, especially the ones reflecting the adjustments per capita.
The researchers also took into account that the Smoke-Free Act came into effect only a month after the beginning of the national recession. Having that into account, researchers came to the conclusion that the smoking ban in local casinos had no major negative effect on the state’s gambling venues’ performance in term of per-capita admissions or revenues.
Illinois Casino Admissions and Receipts Decline
The results of the research showed that no significant impact was inflicted by the implementation of the Smoke-Free Act on per-capita casino revenues and admissions in the state of Illinois. The study showed that casino admissions were at their peak in July 2000, and they have been following a trend of decline since then. When initially compared, the results before and after the piece of legislation show casino admissions decline of 5% across the casinos in Illinois. In comparison, the casino admissions in the states of Missouri, Iowa and Indiana gradually increased.
According to the researchers’ report, the per-capita gross receipts declined by 20% in the state in the period between the first quarters of 2007 and 2008. In comparison, a slight increase was marked in Iowa, while in Indiana a 11% decline was registered, and a 5.6% decline was reported in the state of Missouri.
The fact that the implementation of the smoking ban law happened at the very beginning of economic recession, was taken into account during the research. The researchers, however, found that the Smoke-Free Act had little influence on Illinois’ casino performance.
However, as reported by Reuters, the Executive Director of the Chicago-based Illinois Casino Gambling Association Tom Swoik shared that local casino officials did not agree to the findings. He, on the other hand, confirmed the researchers’ opinion that almost no difference was made by the smoking ban after looking at the presented figures.