The Orange Senior Center on Olive Street would like to boost its revenue by offering Friday night bingo games, but its plan is clouded by the fact that many of its prospective players are smokers.
The nonprofit agency needs a conditional use permit from the City Council to hold bingo games. In considering whether to grant that permit, some city officials questioned whether smoking can be allowed legally.
Under a state law that took effect in January, smoking is banned in all but a few enclosed workplaces.
Assistant City Atty. Stan Soo-Hoo said Monday that the law specifically exempts bingo rooms until January, 1997.
“As far as any statute is concerned, it is very clear they are allowed to smoke,” Soo-Hoo said of bingo players.
A staff report prepared for the council said that most of the 200 to 250 people expected to attend the public games are smokers.
A large gaming room would be designated for them, the report said, while a smaller room would be reserved for nonsmokers.
Lois Scanlan, executive administrative assistant for Orange Elderly Services, said the large room would have “smoke-eaters” in the ceiling to draw up the smoky air and filter it before it enters the ventilation system.
City Council members will consider granting the group a permit after a public hearing tonight at 7 in council chambers, 300 E. Chapman Ave.
The bingo games would begin in mid-September if the permit is approved.