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Illinois smoking ban hurts casino numbers

15 February 2008

ILLINOIS -- As reported by the Kansas City Star: "Illinois casinos' losses were Missouri casinos' gains in January.

"A statewide smoking ban in Illinois that took effect Jan. 1 pushed puffers out the door and, for many, to casinos in neighboring states.

"...Monthly revenues at the two Illinois-based riverboats in the St. Louis market were down 2.19 percent and 21.1 percent in January, Fantini noted, while St. Louis area boats on the Missouri side were up a collective 7.8 percent despite normally sluggish January market conditions.

"The St. Louis boats' collective performance surpassed growth of 3.2 percent in Kansas City and 5.3 percent in Iowa. It also contrasted with the reported revenue declines of 17.4 percent in Illinois, 10 percent in Atlantic City, N.J., 8.5 percent in Indiana, 5.1 percent in Maine and 0.7 percent in Delaware.

"Smoking bans also have been a hot topic this year in Kansas City, but the casino industry fought successfully to dodge the restrictions.

"...The Missouri Gaming Commission reported that local casino revenues were up collectively in January to $57.7 million, but the Kansas City market had winners and losers..."

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