Editorial: Keep riverboats smoke-free

Editorials

Apr 4, 2011 02:06AM



Three years ago, the state Legislature got it right when it passed the Smoke Free Illinois Act, which prohibits smoking in public places.

On Tuesday, though, the House took a big step back by passing a bill to exempt riverboat casinos from the 2008 ban if they operate near a state that permits smoking.

It’s not hard to see why the bill, now on its way to the Senate, has gained sympathy among lawmakers. Illinois is broke, local businesses are struggling, and nobody wants to be blamed for the state losing revenue to Indiana, Missouri and other states that still allow gamblers to light up.

In September, a bipartisan commission reported that revenue from legalized gambling in Illinois was the lowest it has been in a decade. The poor economy was cited as the biggest reason, but the commission

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