Illinois House votes in smokers' favor

METROPOLIS, IL (KFVS) - Smokers in Illinois could soon get the green light to light up again in Illinois' casinos.

On Tuesday the Illinois House voted 62-52 in favor of lifting the state's no smoking ban in casinos.

A move that city leaders in Metropolis say could put more money in the town's coffers.

"It will generate more revenue for us," said Mayor Billy McDaniel.

"I mean ten percent is what we actually feel like has been lost in the last several years in the gaming industry just because of the non-smoking ban."

But, the measure that passed in the house does nothing for private clubs like the American Legion Post 306, in Metropolis.

"I think it should be more or less the owners choice in other establishments," said Kenneth Gurley board member of American Legion Post 306.

"But in a veteran's house I think it should be legal."

And bars and other places that serve alcohol would still be smoke free for now. Which some say what's good for the casinos, is just as good for everyone else in the state.

"I think if they're going to do it in the casinos, specifically Harrah's Casino downtown they should open it up to the bars and anywhere that sells alcohol," said Buddy Hall of Metropolis.

"And that includes pool halls and anywhere people enjoy themselves and you have to be at least 21-years old to enter. I mean this is still a free country."

Now House Bill 1965 moves to the Illinois Senate for a vote, and if it passes the Illinois legislature, Governor Pat Quinn would then have to decide if he supports lifting the ban on smoking in casinos.

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