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Suit Filed In Response To Evansville Smoking Ban

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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