Sunday, 7 August 2011

Mecca gains concession to extend gambling into smoking area

Bingo players are to be allowed hand-held devices to enable them to play bingo while 'out for a smoke', after a bid to extend the gambling area of bingo was granted by Edinburgh City's licensing board. Not all councillors approved the measure, one (Cllr Eric Barry) being quoted as saying:  "This actually goes against public health by allowing people to spend longer in a smoking area while playing this game." 

Although the Bingo Association was under no illusions about the impact of the smoking ban for bingo, a petition they ran in 2007 requested only a review of the tax levied on bingo, not a review of the ban – and even this, directed against the Scottish Parliament, could only plea for the Scottish Government to put the case to the Westminster Government. One can only guess why the Bingo Association did not protest the smoking ban itself – the Scottish Government had the power to change the smoking ban, but not to resolve the taxation issue. The petitions committee did not permit Mike Lowe of Premier Bingo, called as a witness to his petition, to expand on the issue of the smoking ban. All Sir Peter Fry could say was:
The third whammy is the effect of the smoking ban. We want to be in business when society accepts the smoking ban, as it has accepted the smoking ban in cinemas. Cinemas used to be full of smoke, but now people cannot smoke in them and we do not find the public marching out saying that they will never go again because they cannot smoke there. That process takes time so, for that time, my members want to stay in business.
For whatever reason, the ban was seen as set in stone, and not something that the industry should challenge. Instead of this, bingo pleads with the licensing board to extend its gambling operation from one part of the property to another. You can drink and gamble inside but not smoke, you can smoke and gamble in the smoking area (can you drink?) – and Cllr Barry would have prevented the extension of gambling to the smoking area, as people should not be 'allowed' to be exposed to tobacco smoke while gambling! One player commented to the Daily Record"It will give people the opportunity to smoke, which is what people use (sic) to do at bingo halls. But it will also separate the smokers from nonsmokers, and people go to bingo halls to socialise." The smoking ban broke up this sociability in the first place. 

Cllr Barry's view demonstrates the hysteria that exists today about secondary smoke, described here in a comment on a recent story about smoking bans in mental health settings:
Then you claim that there should be a “right to a smokefree environment”. Where did this “right” come from – the wishing well at the Castle of Fantasy? The bulk of what is in tobacco smoke is already in the air generally. It is also the same in other forms of smoke, e.g., cooking, heating, candle. And there is no evidence that these constitute any physical harm as they are typically encountered, particularly outdoors. There is evidence, however, that there are now some that are suffering neurotic tendencies, e.g., anxiety reactions, hypochondria, somatization. Antismoking propaganda has manufactured secondhand smoke (SHS) into a bio-weapon-like phenomenon, extraordinarily different to anything else on earth. Those that have lapped up this propaganda are now in irrational belief and fear concerning SHS, hyper-reacting to it as if it was sarin gas. They are the hand-wavers and hand-to-mouthers at the prospect of a whiff of SHS, utterly convinced that a whiff of SHS will drop them dead on the spot. Unfortunately, their neurosis has been promoted by the medical establishment. These neurotics act like a cult whose primary belief is to avoid any SHS exposure and a “right” to a smokefree environment. And officialdom accommodates and reinforces their delusion because this is the primary means to the eugenics smokefree “utopia”.
More on bingo in Scotland here.


Anonymous said...

Councillor Barry.

Anonymous said...

"One can only guess why the Bingo Association did not protest the smoking ban itself"

Presumably because they were told that the "date of guilty knowledge" had passed in 2OO4

"The hospitality trade faces a rising threat of legal action from employees whose health is damaged by secondhand smoke, after a new tie-up between health campaigning charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) and the UK's largest personal injury and trade union law firm Thompsons was announced today"

Which allegedly rendered them open to being sued for damages by any employee who had the misfortune to develop any illness now attributed to secondhand smoke exposure, after that date.

And which the country was quietly signed up to as the official belief.

"Recognize that scientific evidence has unequivocally established that exposure to tobacco smoke causes death, disease and disability, and that there is a time lag between exposure to smoking and the other uses of tobacco products and the onset of tobacco-related diseases."

"there is a time lag between exposure to smoking and the other uses of tobacco products and the onset of tobacco-related diseases"

So this year, next year, sometime never,if staff were ever to experience the tiniest wisp of smoke and without any tangible evidence due to the unspecified time lag,according to ASH, employers will still liable to the end of time.


Belinda said...

Thanks, Rose.

Does anyone know if there have been successful legal action taken along these lines in the UK?

Unknown said...

I’m wondering how I might be notified whenever a new post has been made. I’ve subscribed to your RSS feed which must do the trick! Have a great day!