Smoking tents purchased in response to a smoking ban in the Canadian province of Alberta have been declared illegal by bylaw officials, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).
The ban went into effect Jan. 1,but owners of casino and bingo parlors believed that the tents would be in compliance with the new law. Players Choice Bingo in Calgary spent $600 on a tent to shelter customers who smoke, but was forced to take it down in early January.
“People were told the tents were valid,” Frank Sisson, owner of Calgary’s Silver Dollar Casino, told the CBC. “Now they’re not valid. Those things are not cheap, so I really think they should make up their mind.”
Bill Bruce, director of bylaw services, explained that the law defines a public premise as any structure or enclosure where the public is allowed by either expressed or implied invitation. That would include tents, according to officials. Businesses that don’t comply with the law can be fined $100 to $300 for the first offense, although bylaw officials said that action against the tents would be taken only if someone complained.