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New Connecticut bill aims to ban smoking in casinos

28 February 2008

CONNECTICUT -- As reported by the Connecticut Day:"A new state Senate bill aims to ban smoking in Connecticut's casinos by repealing the current liquor permit exemption, which allows smoking to take place at both Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Resort Casino.

"Both responded to the proposed bill on Tuesday and in so many words had the same response: It's not that simple.

"But as with just about everything relating to the two federally recognized tribes in Connecticut — the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes — sovereignty is a major hurdle for this bill to overcome.

"'The proposed smoking law targeting Connecticut's Indian Tribes is an inappropriate assault on the principals and laws that govern the relationship between the State of Connecticut and the Indian Tribes of Connecticut,' according to a statement issued by the Mohegan Tribal Council. 'The General Assembly cannot circumvent the compact between the State of Connecticut and federal laws recognizing the Mohegan Tribe and its sovereign rights.'

"...The bill was introduced by the public health committee, which is chaired by Sen. Mary Ann Handley, D-Manchester.

"...The fundamental concern behind the bill is the health of casino workers and patrons due to their exposure to second-hand smoke.

"Although smoking is allowed in both casinos, both have designated non-smoking gaming areas..."

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