Shreveport Council Votes to Lift Casino Smoking Ban
Shreveport leaders have decided to make a change to the smoking ordinance. After passionate pleas from folks on both sides of this issue, the city council voted 4-2 to lift the smoking ban at the two riverboat casinos in Shreveport.
Onjewel Smith with Americans for Non Smokers Rights told the council "smoke free casinos operate successfully all around the country. Data from the gaming control board shows no significant impact on the Shreveport casinos since the smoking ban was implemented.
Ashley Center Director of Governmental Affairs with Boyd Gaming, the owner of Sam's Town Casino told the council the "Shreveport smoking ban created an uneven playing field and put the local casinos at a competitive disadvantage."
Shaleria Dominique had a strong message for members of the council. She specifically called out councilwoman Tabatha Taylor by saying "you were with me when I attended my first council meeting. You have been a champion for me and I have been proud to see a black woman actively care for her city. Now we are here and I am saddened. Councilwoman there are rumblings that you have personal interest involving your non profit that may be swaying your vote on this matter." Dominique also urged the council to vote based on public safety and not personal interest.
Vincent Schwartz Regional Senior Vice President of Boyd Gaming told the council "making investments in a market that is not growing or that continues to decline really is not a good business decision. The current conditions in Shreveport will make it difficult to invest capital that could be deployed more effectively."
How Did the Council Vote?
James Green, Tabatha Taylor, Ursula Bowman and Gary Brooks voted to lift the ban. Grayson Boucher and Jim Taliaferro voted against lifting the smoking ban. Dr. Alan Jackson was absent.
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