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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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Smoking bans help pokie players cut their losses

 
Monday, January 7th, 2008

A new study has found that spending on pokies {video poker machines} has remained about 14 per cent below pre-smoking ban levels, despite predictions an initial drop in gaming machine revenues would be temporary.

The study looked at annual gaming machine revenues following the Victorian Government’s introduction in September 2002 of a ban on people smoking while playing pokies at the state’s 523 gaming venues.

Average monthly turnover fell from $218 million to $188 million after the ban, which forced gamblers to use special rooms or leave the venues if they wanted to smoke.

Figures for subsequent years show the initial “significant abrupt” fall has been maintained.

The researchers from VicHealth’s Centre for Tobacco Control said the requirement to walk away from the machines to smoke “may provide time for reflection on losing”.

The centre’s executive director, Fiona Sharkie, said the smoking bans, introduced primarily to protect the health of hotel and club patrons and staff, had resulted in the additional social benefit of helping problem gamblers because they were often also heavy smokers. Smoking rates are higher among gamblers, with up to 86 per cent of problem gamblers being smokers, she said.

Smokers make up 36 per cent of patrons at gambling venues, yet account for 50 per cent of the losses.

“The way the smoke-free policy has reduced gambling activity is not certain and could take a number of different forms,” says the study, published in this month’s Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

“It may mean that gamblers are spending more time in areas where smoking is permitted, therefore reducing the time they spend at the machines, or that they are leaving the venue earlier after taking a break to smoke, rather than staying.”

Source: The Australian. Link

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