High Court Rejects Evansville Smoking Ban

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The Indiana Supreme Court has struck down Evansville's smoking ban. The case centered on the city's exemption of riverboat casinos. It banned smoking in bars, restaurants and private clubs, but not the Tropicana Casino. Mayor Lloyd Winnecke calls the ruling a "disappointment," saying the city is considering its next legal move. In the majority opinion, Justice Brent Dickinson said by granting the casino an exemption, the city is essentially "selling" the exemption "for the bonus of anticipated financial benefits."

During a council meeting in 2012, casino leaders estimated they would lose 30 percent in revenue if they had to adhere to a smoking ban.

You can view the full Indiana Supreme Court document by clicking here.

February 11, 2014

News Release

"We are disappointed by today’s ruling of the Indiana Supreme Court. The ordinance that was struck down was a bipartisan piece of legislation. It was passed 7-2 by the City Council and approved by me. The legislation was designed to protect the health and safety of Evansville residents, not to create the so called unequal treatment between bars, taverns, private clubs and the riverboat casino. It is important to note that in addition to the bipartisan approval by the City Council and me, the ordinance was deemed constitutional by the trial court, three court of appeal judges, and two of the five Indiana Supreme Court justices. We encourage businesses to continue to enforce a no smoking policy, while the city continues to evaluate the legal implications of this ruling."

Source: The Office of Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke