March 18 2013 12:00 AM

Bernero says a ban on smoking likely would kill it

Friday, March 23 — Expect smoking at the proposed Lansing casino. 

“It’s our view” that insisting on no smoking would likely have been a deal breaker during negotiations, Mayor Virg Bernero said today on “City Pulse Newsmakers,” a new TV show. 

He said the issue was discussed with the developers and the Ste. Sault Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. They were “not much interested in being singled out” as a non-smoking casino, Bernero said. State law grants casinos an exception to the ban on smoking in public and commercial locations. 

Bernero said he personally would prefer no smoking, saying it “irritates” him. But he said, “My motto is don’t let perfect become the enemy of good,” referring to what the deal does accomplish. He cited the college scholarship program, jobs and other economic development that a casino would create.

He added that he has been impressed with the air handling systems at casinos elsewhere.

Bernero addressed this and other issues on the program, which airs for the first time on Lansing cable channel 16 at 11 a.m. Sunday and repeats at 11:30 a.m. It is hosted by City Pulse editor and publisher Berl Schwartz.