OUR VIEW: Deadwood numbers prove smoking ban as rightWe also were bothered that to some, the sound of slot machines was much more important than the health of the workers and patrons of those casinos.
By: Editorial board, The Daily Republic
Don’t get us wrong: We’re happy to hear that Deadwood gambling revenue is higher than ever, as reported recently by the Rapid City Journal.
According to reports, Deadwood gambling’s gross revenue in 2012 was $107.4 million. That’s up considerably from 2011’s total of $100.9 million.
In 2010, the number was $106.2 million. Of course, that was the same year that a statewide smoking ban went into effect.
That one-year dip in receipts prompted complaints out in the northern Black Hills, where some casino owners said the smoking ban put them at a competitive disadvantage with Indian casinos and out-of-state gambling meccas.
Hopefully, the increase in revenue will forever put to rest those complaints, which were so troublesome to those of us who never believed smoking would be the end of Deadwood gambling.
We always were convinced the revenue decline was related more to a cyclic downturn in the economy than to the smoking ban. We also were bothered that to some, the sound of slot machines was much more important than the health of the workers and patrons of those casinos.
Now, some people actually think the smoking ban is helping Deadwood casinos more than it’s hurting them. In the Rapid City Journal report last week, at least two people were quoted as saying that the ban opened the door to a more diverse clientele.
South Dakota’s decision to ban smoking in public places — including bars, restaurants and casinos — was right. The turnaround of gambling in Deadwood is helping prove that point.