Lawmaker proposes gambling devices

A small group of lawmakers is quietly assembling a compromise to allow gambling devices in adult-only establishments as a way to ease bar owners' concerns about the state's new smoking ban. Rep. Brian Quirk, D-New Hampton, says allowing limited and "heavily regulated" gambling machines in bars could help offset a decline in business that some bar owners complain is a direct result of the smoking ban. He declined to identify the other lawmakers he's working with on the plan. Quirk says they are suggesting games such as video Keno. He notes that the devices would be available only in adult establishments.