Press Release – MLBA Uses Nevada Law to Make Point

23 04 2009

Should we blame the lack of auto sales on a smoking ban too?  Should we blame foreclosures on the smoking ban?  Everyone is losing business right now and it’s not because of a smoking ban.   I don’t agree with the following press release, but it is worth discussion.

From a Michgan Licensed Beverage Association….

Michigan Bars and Restaurants Point

to New Trend on Smoking Bans

Nevada Senate’s recent vote shows economic impact too much for some states

 LANSING, Mich. — Nevada lawmakers did an about-face late last week introducing legislation that modifies Nevada’s 2007 Clean Indoor Air Act to allow smoking in taverns that restrict patrons under the age of 21.  

The vote was a direct result of Nevada’s struggling hospitality industry – 21,000 jobs lost in the past year – and a 30 percent drop-off in video poker gaming revenues, which account for a significant source of revenue for the state.

“Michigan lawmakers should take a good look at what Nevada lawmakers are going through right now to try to save their hospitality industry,” said Lance Binoniemi, executive director of the Michigan Licensed Beverage Association (MLBA). “We have clearly stated any smoking ban will directly threaten at least 7,500 Michigan jobs and we will continue to fight to keep these jobs safe.”  

According to the Nevada Tavern Owners Association, gaming revenues plummeted due to patrons leaving to gamble at local casinos, which were exempt from Nevada’s smoking ban.

According to the Michigan Bureau of State Lottery 2008 annual report, bar games (Club Keno and Pull Tabs) accounted for 23 percent of total ticket sales or $564 million. More than 31 percent of total ticket sales are designated for the state’s School Aid Fund.

“Nevada’s situation is a perfect example of the economic damage that could happen in Michigan if any smoking ban is passed,” said Binoniemi. “With double-digit unemployment and our hospitality industry already struggling, passing a law that is proven to close businesses and cost jobs is unjustifiable.”

Testifying in front of the House Regulatory Reform Committee last month, casino officials estimated a statewide smoking ban that included casinos would result in a 22 percent drop in gaming, resulting in 400 immediate jobs lost. This testimony came one week after the MLBA testified that any Michigan smoking ban would threaten at least 7,500 hospitality jobs