St. Joseph City Council Approves Change to Smoking Bill

By Jonathan Cooper |

Published 01/21 2014 09:47PM

Updated 01/22 2014 03:00PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The St. Joseph City Council approved a newly-worded ordinance that makes it more difficult to ban smoking on the casino gaming floor.

The council voted six to three in favor of changing the proposed smoking ordinance.

The original language allowed the city to ban smoking on the gaming floor in St. Joseph if any municipality in Jackson, Platte or Clay counties in Missouri did the same.

The replacement language will only make that possible if a municipality in one of those counties, or Johnson and Wyandotte counties in Kansas passes an ordinance and all of the casinos in those counties do the same.

"It's not fair to the little guy," Council Member P.J. Kovac, who voted against the change, said. "How is it fair that every bar and restaurant in town's gotta go non-smoking, but the biggest venue in town it's okay because we don't want to lose your tax revenue."

Other council members like Gary Roach voted for the change.

"My stance is the same as it has been from day one and as it was two weeks ago," Roach said.

Representatives from the casino and Smoke Free St. Joe were in attendance at the meeting.

The ordinance will go before voters on April 8th.

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