Remember how that smoking ban was going to force all those bars and restaurants out of business?

Yeah. Not so much.

Eateries, bars doing fine after smoking ban


OLYMPIA -- Gambling declined while beer and food sales rose slightly in bars, restaurants and gambling establishments across Washington last year, the first full year under a smoking ban, state figures indicate.

Alcohol and food sales were 3.6 percent higher in 2006, compared to a 2.1 percent average annual growth rate in 2002-05. Gross income at non-tribal gambling businesses was down by 9.8 percent in 2006, according to Revenue Department figures issued Monday.

"The numbers suggest that bars and taverns may have lost some smokers but gained customers drawn to a smoke-free environment," department spokesman Mike Gowrylow said.

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