Daily Archives: September 23, 2008

Today’s Big Idea — Health Casinos

I’ve figured out how to forge a compromise between bickering casinos, gambling expansionists and health  advocates — create “Health Casino.”

Please, hold your applause until the end.

Casinos want to keep their hard-fought smoking ban exemption, which allows smoking on gaming floors. But health advocates want that loophole filled, pronto.

Gambling expansionists want more casinos in places such as Tama and Fort Dodge, Hampton and Ottumwa. But casinos fear lost business.

That’s where Health Casinos come in.

Existing casinos can keep smoky gaming floors, but any new casinos opened from here on out will be smoke-free. That way, health-conscious gamblers will have a smoke-free place to lose money or watch D-list entertainment. Everybody gets what they want.

It’s sort of like those great pre-Civil War compromises, but better, because I believe Iowa’s gambling industry can exist part-hazy, part-clear. And besides, a house divided will stand on 16.

But the new casinos would not only be smoke-free, they would be fitness clubs with chips.

Imagine slot machines mounted on treadmills and roulette powered by stationary bikes and black jack yoga. Burn calories while you burn your money. Get rock-hard abs while your assets go liquid. Lose your shirt and show off those chiseled pecs.

As for the buffet, goodbye fatty prime rib and hello free-range tofurkey. Don’t want anyone’s arteries clogging up before their wallet’s been bled dry.

Health advocates will love it, because people will be healthier and live longer. Casinos will love it because people will live longer and gamble more. Gambling expansionists will get the new casinos they pine for and a chance to tap into the growing health/sin tourism market. Oh, it’s out there.

Smoking gamblers can still puff away, swill drinks and gobble red meat at non-health casinos.

I know what you’re wondering. How does he do it? Clean living, if you must know.

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