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Suit Filed In Response To Evansville Smoking Ban

Bingo parlors and other institutions which offer gaming say the single exemption is unfair.

Casino Aztar

Photo: Lori Rivera (Flickr)

Only Casino Aztar's gaming floor is exempt from Evansville's otherwise comprehensive ban.

The smoking ban fight may be over in Indianapolis for now, but it continues in Evansville, as that city’s new ban faces a court challenge. Unlike the Indianapolis ban signed into law by Mayor Greg Ballard last week, Evansville‘s smoking ban contains only one exemption – the gaming floor of Casino Aztar.

Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke says failing to exempt the casino would have jeopardized millions of dollars in revenue. But Les Shively, an attorney representing private clubs in Evansville, says his clients are suing on free association grounds.

“They should have the right to decide in their private establishment, especially with their bars and such, they should be able to decide whether their members should be able to smoke or not,” Shively says.

Shively says the suit contends the ban is especially unfair to clubs that have gaming operations, such as those which offer bingo. Earlier this month, the judge hearing the lawsuit refused to delay the smoking ban from taking effect while the case made its way through the courts. No other court dates have been set.

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  • Anonymous

    Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke says failing to exempt the casino would have jeopardized millions of dollars in revenue. But Les Shively, an attorney representing private clubs in Evansville, says his clients are suing on free association grounds.

    Both Mayor Winnecke and attorney Shively are completely off their rockers!

    The Evansville smoking ban should not have had an exemption for the casino for two reasons – (1) the only impartial way to institute a smoking ban is to have it applied on a level playing field without special interest favoritism, and, (2) this is a health issue, not an economic issue – besides, why won’t the imbeciles get it through their heads that by having a smokefree casino, there may be more business generated by attracting those who continue to stay away from casinos specifically due to the current toxic air they must breathe.

    As for Shively’s clients, there is plenty of precedent that the government can and will regulate private businesses who hold their establishments open for public patronage. There are health codes that impose the equipment and preparation for food and drink, there are building and fire codes that ensure a minimum level of safety for occupants, there are worker age, wages and overtime rules, there are ADA codes that guarantee accessibility to people with disabilities, there are age restrictions for entrance to certain establishments, there are insurance requirements, inspection requirements AND NOW THERE ARE SMOKEFREE REQUIREMENTS. So get over it already!

  • R C

     Idiot, this this a property rights issue, not a health issue.  A person owns the property not the state.  This is just the beginning.  I don’t want the government as my nanny.  First smoking then the fat content in foods, then what else?  Prohibition was a disaster, when will the government learn from mistakes in the past?  This is an abuse of government power.  FREEDOM is about limited government and the right to choose.  If you don’t like smoke then STAY THE HE.. OUT of the bars that allow it.  If enough people did not want to smoke then bars would have already banned it in their establishments.  In the UK, pubs that were centuries old have gone out business because of this foolishness.  No exemptions for anyone, just let property owners decide!!!  While we are discussing exemptions us take the congressional exemptions away too.  If Socialist Security is good enough for us then let it be good enough for the law makers too.  That go double for the new law care law.!!  No more “special” ruling class!!!  Welcome to the U.S.S.A. (United Socialist States of American).

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