Colorado casino sticks with smoking
BLACK HAWK, Colorado – Smoking is still being allowed in at least one of Colorado’s mountain casinos because it claims to be a cigar bar exempt from the state’s smoking ban.
Gamblers were still able to light up in the Wild Card Casino in Black Hawk on Tuesday, the first day the ban took effect in casinos in Black Hawk, Central City and Cripple Creek.
The law still allows smoking in cigar bars and the smoking lounges at Denver International Airport.
Gina Miller, a Wild Card manager, said the casino has always operated a store in the casino that sells tobacco products, including cigars and cigarettes.
“We’re operating under the law,” Miller said.
Chris Jacoby, a Black Hawk police communications officer, said the department has been getting some complaints from people upset that smoking is still being allowed. He said officers have been told by their superiors not to issue citations against the Wild Card because it is considered a cigar bar.
Stephanie Steinberg of Smoke-Free Gaming of Colorado said in a statement she would fight the decision to exempt the casino.
“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,” she said.
The cigar bar exemption was part of the original statewide smoking ban that took effect in 2006. It was intended to grandfather in about a half-dozen bars that focused on selling cigars and providing a place for patrons to smoke them but other bars have claimed they qualify for the exemption too.
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