New Orleans brought in a blanket smoking ban on April 22nd with the promise of clean air, hearts, flowers, and no financial losses to any business. Whatsoever. Just a couple of months later and some results are coming in.
Harrah's New Orleans Casino claims a new citywide smoking ban is to blame for a 16 percent decline in its revenue this month compared to a year ago.
"We are currently experiencing greater declines from our local business, while casinos in surrounding jurisdictions are enjoying record highs," Harrah's spokeswoman Jade Brown Russell said.This should hardly come as a surprise; every smoking ban ever installed has caused businesses to fail, but the mendacious tobacco control industry will always come up with some bullshit statistical chicanery to pretend the ban wasn't to blame.
It's a rather grubby and pathetic way to earn a living in my opinion. Their job basically relies on denying what everyone can see with their own eyes and wasting our taxes in doing so.
With casinos though, the dramatic destruction of trade that smoking bans inflict is even more clear cut than in any other sector. We know this thanks to a naturally occurring set of cirumstances when Illinois brought in a smoking ban in 2008 while neighbouring states didn't.
Our estimate for the effect on total revenue for all nine casinos is representative of our general findings: We estimate that the smoking ban is associated with a 20 to 22 percent revenue decline, amounting to a total loss in casino revenue of more than $400 million. This estimate implies that casino revenue in Illinois would have been approximately flat in the absence of the smoking ban (+/- 1 percent), rather than experiencing the 21 percent decline shown in the chart.
The presence of riverboat gambling in three states adjacent to Illinois provides an opportunity for comparing this finding with the experience of similar casinos that were not subject to the Illinois smoking ban. Using data for gambling revenue at casinos in Indiana, Iowa and Missouri, we find no significant change associated with the adoption of the Illinois smoking ban. The same calculation that leads to our finding of a 22 percent decline in Illinois revenue yields very small increases in Iowa (2.2) and Missouri (1.9) and literally zero percent change in Indiana. Statistically, these estimates are all consistent with no change in revenue. This observation confirms—at least at the statewide level—that the effect we identify for Illinois is unique. Casinos in each of these states suffered roughly the same downturn in economic activity, but only the Illinois casinos suffered the losses that our model associates with the implementation of the smoking ban.It couldn't be more stark than this.
|SOURCE: State gaming boards of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Missouri|
Of course, in New Orleans the usual pre-legislative stages were followed. The ban was proposed, businesses rightly complained that revenues would be affected, but politicians pointed to the junk science tobacco controllers had produced to pretend that everything would be rosy. It's a circle jerk of state-funded liars all intent on getting their pointless bans through and screw the consequences (see also Drakeford and his utterly absurd Welsh e-cig ban).
In New Orleans, their unconditional ban will, like in all other jurisdictions, inevitably lead to job losses - if they haven't started already - loss of gaming duty revenues to fund government programmes, and add to the general drudgery of life. All just to pander to a minority of the most intolerant and selfish in society who simply don't like the smell, and insist that activities they disapprove of are banned, even on other people's property in places they would never have to go.
This is the huge problem I have with tax-sponging tobacco controllers and their venal, cowardly political pets. You see, I'd have much more time for them if they'd admit that bans harm businesses but that health is a priority. If they held their hands up and admitted, "you know what, thousands of pubs are going to shut because of the smoking ban but it's necessary for the public's health" instead of producing purposely misleading 'reviews' after the fact, they'd get respect from me. If they said "yes, raising the price of tobacco will obviously increase demand for fags sold by criminal gangs, but it's a price we have to pay", I'd admire their honesty. And if New Orleans health obsessives told the public what they knew before they bullied the legislation through - that casinos were going to be hit for six - and said "jobs will be lost, your city will have less money for civic services, but you won't have to smell smoke, ain't that great?", then good luck to them, they will have put all the choices on the table.
But they don't because their profession is founded and built on lies. Apparently - unlike everything else in life without exception - there are no downsides whatsoever with anything tobacco control does, only positives. It's a remarkable thing isn't it? The elusive free lunch. Even as extra Border Force officers are recruited to handle the mess tobacco control have created; while police, trading standards and local councils battle to keep control of illicit sales from white van man; and while tens of thousands of pubs shut down directly as a result of anti-smoking extremism; the media agonise as to why such a centuries-old British tradition is dying on its arse; and MPs cry crocodile tears about the loss of community pubs provide, tobacco control still continue to insist that the world is a better place because ... their salaries.
So when Harrah's in New Orleans announced their post-ban results, no-one - including tobacco control - was remotely surprised. They have just become the latest victim of the self-serving, money-grubbing, lie-peddling disease that is global 'public health'.