Lottery Boycott Round II

Apparently, there are some lottery retailers willing to tell the state they can SHOVE the smoking ban where the sun doesn’t shine.  After the smoking ban took effect, bar owners began seeing a steady decline in revenues, and the toll on Michigan small bar business became clear.. (not as if we didn’t tell you so)  But there has been a little bit of a fight back, and some lottery sellers decided to turn off their machines for a few hours.

According to the Detroit News, a second round is going to happen this weekend:

Brancato said about 220 retailers — 2 percent of all Michigan lottery vendors — turned off their lottery machines June 19 and revenue losses amounted to about $125,700. The law bans smoking in all public workplaces and where food and beverages are served. Detroit casinos, cigar bars and retail tobacco specialty shops are not affected by the new law.

A group called Protect Private Property Rights in Michigan — Amend the Michigan Smoking Ban is calling for a second boycott of the lottery in bars across the state to send a message to legislators about a law they say is keeping customers away. Supporters want the Legislature to modify the ban that took effect May 1 to exclude private property such as bars.

Good for them. Stand up for their rights!

But..  To hell with the law in its entirety.  Exclusions such as bars, casinos, etc.. still mean that the government still assumes ownership of is rightfully yours.  As long as smoking is legal, taxed, and milked for the income it brings the state coffers, it is part of the operational prerogative of the business owner who wants it to exist in his or her business.

This weekend’s loss of lottery revenue is going to hurt the businesses who turn off the machines, it will hurt the revenue of the lottery in general, and the publicity will likely turn off lottery buyers who smoke, and may also want to make a statement to our masters in Lansing.

FYI:  As an addition after posting this..

One of the guys in the office says: “Why didn’t they simply offer a clean air credit to those businesses who decide to go smoke free?”

It seems a little more civilized a manner than a ban with special exemptions.. so..  why didn’t they?

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