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Issue Date: Vol. 51, No. 5, May 2011, Posted On: 5/4/2011

Michigan Bar Traffic Dives 30% After Smoking Ban's First Year

Marcus Webb
Michigan smoking ban, Michigan tavern business, Michigan restaurant business, juke box location, pinball machine, coin-op business, coin machine operator, tavern trends, bar trends, dart league, pool league

DETROIT -- Taverns and restaurant have seen customer traffic and revenues drop by 20% to 30% -- and some location owners said revenues have fallen 50% -- in the year since Michigan imposed a comprehensive statewide smoking ban on all workplaces, according to a story in the Detroit Free Press.

The one-year anniversary of the ban was May 1. As a result, not only is customer traffic down sharply, but so are food and beverage sales, along with revenues for such gaming devices as keno and pulltab machines. Their cashboxes "spiraled" downward, the paper reported, resulting in locations getting rid of the machines in many cases -- the same dipping pattern is usually experienced by amusement games and jukeboxes.

Public records show that some counties have issued hundreds of fines to dozens of location owners for permitting illegal smoking, while other counties have issued zero fines. Officials claim people of the state have measurably improved health in the wake of the ban, citing blood test results among other medical data.

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