WINNIPEG Smoking bans in Manitoba are proving somewhat hazardous to the health of the gaming industry.
The provincial government's gaming revenues are forecast to drop this year by $27 million - about 10 per cent - according to figures in the provincial budget.
"The reduction in lottery corporation revenues this year is based on a provincewide smoking ban starting Oct. 1, plus the existing smoking ban in Winnipeg and Brandon," Finance Minister Greg Selinger said Monday.
Gaming revenues have traditionally risen every year, but the situation has changed since Brandon and Winnipeg enacted municipal bylaws last year to prevent smoking in public places, including bars.
Add to that a provincewide smoking ban set to take effect this fall, and revenues will drop for the first time in recent memory.
"We had predicted this. We knew it was coming," said Scott Smith, the minister responsible for lotteries.
Even a Finance Minister will not support Anti smoking lies and deceit.
2004: The year of corrections