Vice Squad
Sunday, August 05, 2007
English Smoking Ban Enforcement

The English didn't manage to convey anyone to the Tower for violating the smoking ban, at least in its first two weeks of operations. (That's the first two weeks of the smoking ban, not of the Tower -- the Tower has been around for a few months already.) One bar owner in Blackpool was fined for not enforcing the ban, but he has pleaded not guilty. (A new indignity for Blackpool, on top of losing out on the mega-casino.) During those first two weeks of July, some 89,000 establishments saw a smoking inspector call. The inspection brigade wrote a spate of warnings and proffered some sage advice, but only the Blackpool scofflaw induced a display of their full ticket-issuing authority.

The smoking ban in Wales had about a three month start on the English ban, and some pubs and bingo halls -- it's always the bingo halls that suffer the most -- have seen significant declines in their business.

More on Blackpool's dashed-gambling-hopes malaise here; one nearby place that has just adopted gambling, of the cyber variety, is that wacky Principality of Sealand located a few miles off the British coast.

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