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Montana Casinos Experiences Gaming Revenue Drops Due to Smoking Ban

When gaming revenue drops at casino facilities in area where smoking bans have been enforced, casino facilities have become accustomed to laying the blame on the smoking ban. In the state of Montana, it appears that the casino gambling industry may have a good argument.

Video gaming revenue dropped in Montana by nearly 18% in the 4th quarter of 2009. The dropped in gaming earnings corresponded with a smoking ban that went into effect on October 1st, 2009.

Mark Staples, a lawyer that represents the Montana Tavern Association, said on January 20th, 2010 that those numbers would match what they have been receiving from the field. Staples said that the drop in casino gaming has been ranging from 15 percent to 20 percent in most licensees that have any significant gaming establishment.

The drop in taxes paid by the gaming establishments for the last three months of 2009 was around $2.7 million from the previous quarter. The $12.5 million paid in taxes will represent a 17.8% from the 3rd quarter. Gambling revenue as a whole has been down across the United States.

In Las Vegas and Atlantic City, two of the leading gambling markets in the US, gaming revenue has dropped for many months in a row during the economic crisis. Atlantic City casinos have seen gaming revenue slide down in double digits for past months. However, not all gaming analysts are blaming the smoking ban exclusively as the cause of the revenue decline.


11 February 2010
News Submitted by:
Jack Silverman

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