In 2008, Iowa lawmakers passed the Smokefree Air Act banning smoking in most public places and workplaces. But the act exempted state-licensed casinos after owners complained the smoking ban would drive customers away from their gambling venues.
As we’ve mentioned before, Iowa’s casino lobby usually gets its way at the Statehouse. But the exemption was a bad idea 14 years ago and remains a mistake today.
But the tide might be turning.
This week, the CEO of Prairie Meadows Casino and Hotel in Altoona told Axios Des Moines that the casino’s smoking area has been reduced to just 5 percent of the gambling floor and that the casino could eventually go smoke free. Although there are no immediate plans to do so.