This vote took a number of twists and turns, but once the dust settled, the Shreveport City Council voted to table a proposal to grant the casinos an exemption from the smoking ban that is set to go into effect on August 1.

After more than 2 hours of public comments on this hot topic, the council voted 4-3 to approve the exemption for the 2 casinos in Shreveport, Sam's Town and El Dorado Casino.

The vote:

Councilmembers Tabitha Taylor, James Green, James Flurry and Grayson Boucher for for the exemption. Councilmembers LeVette Fuller, Jerry Bowman and John Nickelson voted against the casino exemption. But a few minutes later, Councilwoman Taylor asked to have the matter reconsidering.

There was discussion about finding out if Bossier City is willing to get on board and also implementing a casino smoking ban. Councilman Grayson Boucher says he has serious concerns about the jobs at these casinos and he could not take action that might result in one of the local casinos closing. He told his colleagues that he spoke with Bossier Mayor Tommy Chandler who told him he is willing to look at it. Chandler has told KEEL News "I've only been Mayor for 2 weeks and I haven't talked to the Bossier City Council about smoking in casinos."

Here's the problem. The smoking ban goes into effect on August 1 in Shreveport. Tabling this exemption means that ban will move forward. The council is expected to take final action on July 27 just a few days before the ban goes into effect. The casinos will now probably have to get in gear setting up smoking areas outside in case no action is taken on this amendment before August.

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