Monday, December 31, 2007

Casino Queen tour prior to Illinois smoking ban

My wife, a lifelong neversmoker, and I, a minimal smoker, toured the Casino Queen tonight to establish just what things are like at the Queen prior to the Illinois smoking ban. This what we found.

Over 75 percent of the Casino Queen's slots were in play. Over half of the patrons were smoking. My wife and I both agreed that the Queen's air filtration system almost entirely cleared the air of tobacco smoke. My wife thought the air might still have a slight haze overall. At eye level, I saw no haze. We both saw haze near the ceiling as the smoke entered the filtration ducts. Yet we both found the air nothing like the air of an ordinary bar that allows smoking. We both agreed that the air in the casino smelled cleaner than the East St. Louis air outside. Yet we both could smell a tobacco scent in the casino air and could smell smoke on our clothes when we left. Was the casino air filtration system on full blast at the time? We don't know.

A big surprise was the presence of atleast one new smoking lounge. A sign indicated that smoking lounges would be available to casino patrons when the Illinois smoking ban began. A casino worker told me the lounges would accomodate 30 - 40 people. The option of such indoor smoking facilities could greatly lessen the impact of the Illinois smoking ban on the Casino Queen. But is a smoking ban that still allows indoor smoking a true ban at all? Will Illinois bar and restaurants be allowed such smoker friendly rooms?

I played a 25 cent slot and won 3 dollars on my first quarter. That paid for our gas to the Queen.

My wife and I will return to the Casino Queen to view the effects of the smoking ban later this week.