Casino or Cigar Bar?

As we wrote about a few days ago, as of January 1st, there will be no smoking in Colorado casinos. As this ban was implemented all affected Colorado casinos went about trying to lesson the blow to smokers as best they could, except one. It seems that at least one Colorado mountain casino claims to be exempt from the state’s smoking ban because it is a cigar bar.

The ban took effect January 1st in the Black Hawk, Central City and Cripple Creek casinos but at the Wild Card Casino in Black Hawk, gamblers were welcome to light up and enjoy as they usually would. According to Wild Card manager Gina Miller, this casino has always operated a store that sold tobacco products, which included cigars and cigarettes.

Since the current tobacco ban excludes cigar bars and the smoking lounges at Denver International Airport, Miller concludes,

“We’re operating under the law.”

Communications officer, Chris Jacoby of the Black Hawk police said complaints have been coming in from people who are upset that the smoking continues but he also states that superiors have said not to issue citations against the casino.

So is this a slick marketing ploy or an ingenious loophole? Can a cigar bar be a casino or vice versa? Not according to Stephanie Steinberg of Smoke-Free Gaming of Colorado who has issued a statement vowing to fight the casino exemption,

“The Wild Card Casino is clearly a casino and has always operated as a casino. If they think they are a cigar bar then they shouldn’t have slot machines or a gaming license for that matter.”

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