How Will the Smoking Ban Affect New Orleans Casinos?

The city of New Orleans implemented a full ban on smoking in bars, restaurants, casinos, and other public spaces in April of 2014.

The purpose of the law was to extend existing statewide smoking bans within the city limits. The new law means it is illegal to smoke within five feet of everything from public parks to colleges and even the city’s jails and prisons.

The use of e-cigarettes and vaporizers is also considered smoking. So that’s banned too.

How do the operators of gambling venues in New Orleans feel about it?

They’re upset.

The Louisiana State Police, which oversees gambling in Louisiana, predicted that the state could lose $104 million in tax revenue and fees from the implementation of this ban. That number came from the Gaming Enforcement Commission’s notes on a study done on smoking bans in Atlantic City and Delaware gaming properties.

That study, which you can read as a PDF file here, accurately predicted a 12% decrease in revenue for the state of Delaware after a smoking ban in gambling halls in that state. Another arm of that study predicted a huge decrease of 20% in Atlantic City’s profits across a two-year period after a smoking ban in South Jersey, though that prediction hasn’t been tested yet.

Their argument is simple enough. As the New Orleans advocate puts it, “[Casinos, restaurants, and bars] argue that tourists come to New Orleans because they like to gamble and drink. The city is one of the last to allow smoking in some public places.” To take that away will change people’s attitude about New Orleans.

How many will simply decide not to come back?

What have they done about it?

Opponents of the ban have been active.

First, Harrah’s tried to delay the ban, claiming they needed more time to help their employees and customers adjust to the new rules. New Orleans City Council saw through that smokescreen (pun totally intended), shaming Harrah’s for trying to amend city law to benefit their own interests. For their part, Harrah’s is currently involving New Orleans in a difficult and costly lease renegotiation which has to be seen as an attempt at revenge on the part of the casino.

What Harrah’s did next was brilliant. Before the ban went into effect, the property made a huge show of becoming “the first smoke-free casino in Louisiana.” At midnight two days before the ban went into effect, they ceremonially removed ashtrays, handed out lollipops for frustrated smokers, and made a big to-do of their early adoption.

It was a brilliant move because they were planning a counter-attack the entire time.

Next, Harrah’s joined forces with many other local businesses affected by the ban and filed a lawsuit in civil court to strike it down. This action was more effective. It included several large local businesses (including Pat O Brien’s, Broussard’s, and several other New Orleans landmarks) and focused on the potential loss of revenue facing the city.

The hearing was scheduled for May 21. That lease negotiation Harrah’s is forcing on the city? It could cost New Orleans anywhere from $4 – $30 million dollars, which Harrah’s says is the cost of forcing the smoking ban on their successful gaming enterprise.

Who benefits from the New Orleans smoking ban?

I’m cynical, but not too cynical. This might smarmy, too.

I’m okay with that.

Here’s who benefits from the New Orleans smoking ban:

The people who visit bars, hotels, restaurants, casinos, and other public spaces all benefit.

We know secondhand smoke is dangerous. The American Cancer Society says secondhand smoke kills 42,000 people a year. It’s bad and you probably agree that it should be banned, unless you’re a libertarian or anarchist or something.

But beyond that – people these days don’t like to go places where smoking takes place. Times have changed – gone are the days when going home from your waitressing job smelling like a cigarette was no big deal because everybody smoked. These days, fewer people smoke, and the ones who don’t simply don’t want to be around it.

City Council Member Latoya Cantrell, who sponsored the law and has been vocal about her support for it, points out that secondhand smoke exposure costs the state millions of dollars a year in healthcare costs. That’s another angle to consider. It might be fiscally irresponsible to continue to allow smoking in public, at least according to the ban’s proponents.

So what’s going to happen?

Harrah’s is trying to put its money where its mouth is, threatening to shrink its state-mandated work force from 2,400 to 1,500. They’ve got legislation under consideration which would allow them to do just that.

With pressure on the city council from judges more than ready to rule in favor of existing liberties, it’s not totally clear that the city will be able to maintain the ban as it exists now.

Bartenders and business owners continue to make the same point – you’ll read it in this article from VICE and in this from the Guardian. What is going to happen when neighboring businesses get sick of the smokers pouring out of bars, casinos, and restaurants every few minutes? That seems to be the real threat to shop owners concerned about their customers getting up and leaving to satisfy their nicotine habit.

If I had to make a prediction, I’d say that the ban is here to stay. I can’t find a single example of a city getting rid of a smoking ban once it’s been put in place. It just doesn’t happen. As for how the city will be affected, I’d predict that Harrah’s is going to continue making a stink until they earn an exemption from the New Orleans City Council.

That means the city will rule in favor of the civil rights of customers at a single business. That will be a weird day, indeed.

Lexington, Kentucky Roof Contractor & Window Installation Services

Is it time for new or replacement windows and roofing?
The weather in Lexington, Kentucky can be unforgiving, leaving residents and business owners to scramble at the last minute to resolve issues with their roof or windows.

How do we perform roof and window restoration services?

Home and business owners in the Lexington, KY area will delight in our restoration process. The first step is showing off samples to the property owner to get their approval. After all, the last thing that we want to do is install windows or roof shingles that don’t match your tastes. Our second step is meeting the quality requirements set forth by the client. For this portion of the job, we need to ask questions about the longevity of the materials that will be used. Thus, if the customer decides to save money on roofing materials or windows, we can deliver something that will last with a good warranty. But, for those that want to spend the extra cash for the additional value; we can provide amazing materials with a great warranty. Although every job that we complete uses sturdy and UV-protected materials, spending a bit of extra money will always result in greater longevity.

When is the best time to have your roof or windows inspected?

We have found that the spring and fall months are the ideal time to look at your roof and windows in Lexington. It is during this period that the Kentucky weather staves off enough for our licensed contractors to come out and inspect residential or commercial properties. Regardless of the time of year or the weather, our team is experienced enough to know when your home or business needs aggressive upgrades.

What do you get with a replacement roof and windows package?

When you sit down with our project planner at your property or our offices in Kentucky no detail is left to chance. Therefore, if your goal is to save money, then our licensed window and roof contractors in Lexington will only show you options that make sense for your price range. Although we always attempt to save money for all clients, it is vital to note that safety and security are sincere concerns for our team. Therefore, we will always sell you something that will be able to stand up to the elements along with attempted theft or vandalism. So, whether you want the most deluxe windows and frames in the state or a roof that will last over 30 years, our experienced contractors will ensure that your home is adequately protected.

The Benefits of Hiring a Plumber with a Master License

Like any profession, the knowledge and experience needed to become a master plumber are extensive. Obtaining a master plumber’s license is a journey that begins as most professions do, with an education. In a trade or vocational school, plumbing education typically takes two years. During this time, prospective plumbers learn the ins and outs of proper tool use, pipe systems, and safe practice. Alternatively, this knowledge can be learned through an apprenticeship with an existing plumbing business, also requiring a minimum of two years.
Once an education has been completed, plumbers are required to work for in the trade for several years before they can take the journeyman exam. This licensure exam extensively tests a plumber’s knowledge plumbing codes, practices, and general knowledge. By successfully passing the exam, plumbers are licensed at the journeyman level.

Becoming a master plumber in Salt Lake City requires more knowledge and work experience. Though it varies state by state, most states require plumbers to have a minimum of one year experience working at the journeyman level. The total amount of work experience is required to have taken place within ten years before applying for the master’s level exam. This requirement ensures that plumbers’ knowledge and experience is not recent and up to date. Just like the journeyman exam, the master’s level exam thoroughly tests plumbers on their knowledge and experience. Finally, if this exam is passed, a plumber will receive their license indicating that they are a master plumber.

With the amount of time, dedication, knowledge, and experience it takes to become a master plumber, you can be sure that, by hiring one, you’re in good hands. In addition to working with a variety of systems, master plumbers know and understand their state’s building codes. Master plumbers are also able to interpret blueprints for plumbing systems as well as perform the design work themselves.

When you’re in need of a plumber in Utah, there’s no reason to settle for anything less than a master. Many states require master plumbers to renew their license every two years. Before hiring a plumber, inquiring into their licensure is a good way to ensure that you’re hiring a qualified professional. Additionally, licensing boards often have registries listing licensed plumbers, which can be accessed online. Whether you’re in need of minor plumbing repairs or a complete rework, hiring a master plumber is the best way to ensure that the job is done right.