(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) -- St. Joseph's city council held off on a vote on the future of smoking on the gaming floor of the St. Jo Frontier Casino.
Their regularly scheduled meeting was changed to a virtual session Monday due to rising Covid-19 cases in the region. It was for that reason they voted unanimously to pull the proposal from the agenda.
Council member PJ Kovac, who sponsored the proposal said because the smoking ban could be hotly debated, he preferred it to come back to the agenda only after in-person council meetings are resumed.
He originally brought the issue forward saying that allowing smoking at the casino on the gaming floor defeats the purpose of the city's current mandatory mask mandate, which is now in effect until February 14, 2021. He says that because people are allowed to remove their masks to smoke and blow smoke into the air, it makes it much more likely for people to spread Covid-19.
The casino's gaming floor has been exempt from the city's ban on smoking in public facilities since it first went into place in 2014. At the time there was disappointment from many local bar owners saying that the casino was getting preferential treatment.
No other casino in Missouri has a smoking ban.
Mayor Bill McMurray said that the proposal will be brought up for debate at a later in-person council meeting.