While more and more gamblers in the UK and Europe are being told they CANNOT light up at the tables, a US judge has effectively ruled bingo players can smoke their heads off.
Circuit Judge Richard Smith has told the city of Greenville, Mississippi, that it cannot ban smoking in bingo halls without the same prohibition in casinos which are currently exempt.
Mississippi Representative John Hines said the smoking ban had badly hit profits at a bingo hall run by Southern AIDS Commission where revenue went to help food pantries for the poor and to help with medication and counseling for AIDS sufferers.
Southern AIDS Commission boss Alonzo Dukes said: “To exempt one or the other, means people’s interest in games of chance will move from one to the other. It was a fairness issue and the judge agreed with us.”
In Mississippi, smoking has been banned in all publicly-owned buildings since July 1, 2006, including city halls, county courthouses and state government buildings and buildings leased by local governments.
But, like Las Vegas and Atlantic City, casinos in the southern state are EXEMPT from anti-smoking laws.