The Smoke-Free Casinos bill, HB 1269, was signed by Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter Friday. The law requires all casinos in Black Hawk, Central City and Cripple Creek, to be 100 percent smoke free on January 1, 2008 at 8 a.m. when the casinos open.
Stephanie Steinberg, chair of Smoke-Free Gaming of Colorado was elated at the official signing by the governor. "It’s a breath of fresh air for Colorado’s 8,000 casino employees who will finally have the right to go to work and not have to breathe toxic secondhand smoke."
Smoke-Free Gaming of Colorado was formed by casino patrons who pushed for sponsorship of the bill.
"We felt that the casinos catered only to the few who smoke without any regard for the effects the smoke had on us," said Rod Lane, a casino VIP and ban supporter.
Colorado’s 44 casinos were exempted from the statewide clean indoor air law that was effective last July. The upcoming year will mark the first time they will be smoke free since they first opened nearly 16 years ago.