Connecticut | Legislation | Regulation
Union behind smoking ban at Connecticut casinos

The United Auto Workers union is behind legislation that would ban smoking at tribal casinos in Connecticut.

The union recently organized among card dealers at the casino owned by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation. The dealers have now been lobbying state lawmakers to ban smoking at Foxwoods Resort Casino, which is owned by the Pequots, and at Mohegan Sun, which is by the Mohegan Tribe.

Tribal leaders say the legislation infringes on their sovereignty. They also say it would be bad for their revenues, a portion of which are shared with the state.

"A complete ban on smoking at Mohegan Sun is presently more than an unwise business decision," Mohegan Chairman Bruce "Two Dogs" Bozsum wrote in a letter to lawmakers.

Sen. Mary Ann Handley, a Democrat, is introducing the bill to ban smoking at any areas of a casino that serve liquor. That would include the gaming floors, bars and restaurants at the casinos.

Get the Story:
Union Sending Smoke Signals (The Hartford Courant 2/29)
At casinos, smoking ban sends signal for tribal unity (The New York Daily News 2/29)