[dropcap style="font-size: 60px; color: #025beb;"] L [/dropcap]ocal businesses are claiming that if the city council pushes through a smoking ban in Evansville, it will hurt, real bad. Casino Aztar is even claiming that it could cause them to have to lay off up to 280 people. According to Illinois Casino Harrah's, they saw an immediate drop in revenue, directly related to the smoking ban.
[quote type="center"]They went from a 4 percent gaming growth rate to a 21 percent decline in statewide gaming.[/quote]
My problem, is that if they are going to enforce a ban on the city, it should encompass ALL businesses. There should be no favors, no exemptions, everyone should be included, and that means Aztar would have to deal. That said, I can't and do not support any kind of smoking ban.
Yes, I'm one of those people who feels that this is another intrusion upon our personal rights as US citizens. No, I don't plan on smoking in restaurants or around other people, but the fact remains that it's up to the business owners discretion.
Imagine if you just launched your life long dream, you finally own your own bar and want to run it your way. However, the city steps in and says, nope, sorry no smoking allowed. Shouldn't that be your decision to make? After all, people can make their own decision to patronize your bar or simply drive another 15 mins to another county and enjoy a beer and cigarette there. Is doing what's best for our health, best for our business, right now?
Who exactly is pushing this smoking ban? They can't be local businesses owners, because I have yet to meet a business that supports it. As a matter of fact, restaurants/bars falling outside of city limits, yet under the Vanderburgh County ban are feeling the pinch.
People have habits, some people have bad habits, and when enough of them get together, they want to enjoy their habits in peace. This doesn't mean they will intrude on others, but if a business supports their habit and respects their rights, why can the city intervene?
Can the Evansville economy really support a smoking ban?