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ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – The City of Arlington now considers itself officially “smoke free.”

After hours of debate, council members on Tuesday night decided to approve a new smoking ban but with one exception.

Council members voted to create a “carve out” for Bingo parlors, which can continue to have smoking on the grounds.

The Knights of Columbus, Lions Club and other groups pleaded with council members to make them exempt from the ban.

Members told council most of their patrons are smokers and banning smoking could mean a loss of business. The organizations cited a drop in their donations if less people showed up for Bingo. 

Council members said because Bingo parlors are considered gambling under Texas law, they are not considered a public business and therefore do not impact the “smoke free” status.

“I think it’s wonderful. I think we have a lot of people who get to keep their jobs and we also get to also going to keep donating money for charity like we have,” said Ken Johnson of the Knights of Columbus in Arlington.

The city has recommended giving businesses 60 days to inform their patrons of the new ban.

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