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Nicotine Nannies claim smoking bans are good for business. But if that were the case, could this list exist, and could it be so huge? (Please note, this is only a small sample of articles available on the subject.)

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Rank Says Gaming Profit Was Hurt by Smoking Ban, Rising Costs

Tuesday, July 4th, 2006

July 4 (Bloomberg) — Rank Group Plc, the U.K. owner of Grosvenor Casinos and Mecca Bingo clubs, said profit at its gaming units is “under pressure” because of increasing costs rise and a smoking ban in Scotland. The company said it will consider a sale of its Hard Rock brand.

Rising costs and a 14 percent drop in sales in Scotland following the introduction of a smoking ban is having a negative impact on earnings at Rank’s gaming divisions, the London-based company said today in a Regulatory News Service statement.

Rank plans to carry out a strategic review of Hard Rock to assess whether it should retain the division, according to the statement. Merrill Lynch is advising the company on this review, which will be completed within a “few months,” Rank said.

Rank’s shares fell 1.25 pence, or 0.6 percent, to 198.25 pence in London yesterday. The company’s shares have dropped 35 percent in 2006, the biggest drop in the 30-member FTSE 350 Travel & Leisure Index, which has gained 2.6 percent.

Source: Bloomberg.com Link

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