The article is here. There’s some good reporting in there (comments from Inter-Tribal Council, a quick survey of the issue of smoking in tribal casinos, a distinction about state law not applying on tribal land, and a discussion of the negotiations around the topic):
“If they did not allow smoking, they wouldn’t be doing any of the business they’re doing now,” said Bill Cross, a partner in the development group, Lansing Future LLC. “If you take that away, it would probably take out 30 percent of the revenue, maybe even higher. That means it would have been a deal-breaker for the city, too.
“Let’s say we’re the only Native American casino in the entire state that doesn’t have smoking: It just makes it an unfair playing field,” he said.
Speaking on the new television show “City Pulse Newsmakers” on Sunday, Mayor Virg Bernero said, “Don’t let perfect become the enemy of good,” acknowledging that while he would have liked to see a smoke-free casino, it was the tribe’s decision.
“In truth, I don’t think this is a perfect proposal. I think if we wait for perfect, we’ll wait for something that may never be,” he said. “There’s lots of things to like about this proposal.”
Bernero said he “didn’t notice a heavy smell” when visiting other casinos where smoking is permitted. “Would I prefer that there was no smoking anywhere indoors? Yeah, I would. But that’s not law in Michigan. To single out Lansing would have put us at a disadvantage.” Bernero added “that’s our view” when asked if requiring the casino to be entirely smoke-free would have been a “deal-killer.”