Governor Chet Culver has already made strides when it comes to slowing the amount of smoking that takes place indoors in Iowa. If re-elected, Culver claims that he wants to eliminate the loophole that was created for casinos in the state.
In 2008, Culver signed the Smoke-free Air Act. One of the stipulations of the law, however, was that state casinos can continue to allow smoking on their gambling floors. It is an exemption that Culver never quite understood, but one he believes should change.
“I think that’s the logical next step,” said Culver, as reported by Radio Iowa. “To keep pushing, to make this a healthier state.” Lawmakers, of course, would first have to create such a bill before it could go in front of the governor.
Iowa is one of the dozens of states that have carved out smoking bans at indoor public places. At first, there was outrage from smokers, but as the years have passed, the smokers have adjusted to the new laws. In most places, outdoor smoking areas have been designated for smokers who wish to light up.
The issue has become contentious when dealing with casinos. The employees, many of which have unionized, have pushed for smoking bans because of the effects the second-hand smoke could have on their health. Lawmakers have attempted to balance the delicate issue because of the amount of tax revenue that the casinos create.
Iowa is just one of several states that have made exceptions for casinos. In New Jersey, Atlantic City officials drafted a smoking ban at casinos, but quickly delayed its implementation at the request of casino owners during the economic recession. The casino executives have long contended that a smoking ban would have an extreme negative effect on revenue.