Illinois mulls smoking ban loophole for casinos -

Illinois mulls smoking ban loophole for casinos

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By Curt Hudson By Curt Hudson

HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) -- Illinois gamblers who could seek their fortunes at any of a number of casinos in the state's northeast are increasingly traveling to neighboring states where they are allowed to smoke while they play.

At a time when cash-strapped governments are grasping for every quarter to balance state budgets, Illinois is among several states contemplating loopholes in statewide smoking bans to keep more gamblers -- and their money -- from slipping across the border.

An Illinois Senate committee could deliberate Wednesday on a bill to restore smoking privileges in casinos so gamblers don't escape to Indiana, Iowa and Missouri.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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