Bingo news

Bingo Halls File Suit Against Louisville Over Smoking Ban

On December 6, 2006, an organization of Louisville Bingo Halls along with the Kentucky Charitable Gaming Association, filed a lawsuit which states that the new smoking ban imposed on Louisville violates both the state and federal constitutions. The suit, filed on Wednesday in the Jefferson Circuit Court, is very similar to another lawsuit that was filed by the Association of Louisville Bars on November 14, 2006 at the same court which states that the exemption given at the Churchill Downs is unlawful and violates the state constitution.

Nonetheless, the suit filed by the Bingo Hall Association takes things a step further and claims that the exemption granted to the Churchill Downs violates the right to equal protection and the due process clause in the United States Constitution, and that the smoking ban is withholding the owners of their own property without just compensation. The lawsuit also claims that the smoking ban violates the state constitution regarding "special legislation", which is intended for the protection of an entity or an individual. Bingo establishments have argued that the state laws, like the smoking ban target them specifically because the law requires that all non-profit organizations renting the bingo halls must maintain a 40% profit margin.

If the attendance of those who play bingo drops as much as 10%, some organizations might lose enough profit that they will be in danger of losing their gambling licenses. The new smoking ban in Louisville will take effect next July and will not allow smoking in public buildings in Jefferson County except for private homes, the Churchill Downs facilities and a tobacco manufacturing plant.

Churchill Downs is not specifically mentioned by name, but the smoking ordinance allows smoking at facilities that are managed or operated by groups that are licensed and regulated by the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority. According to the lawsuit filed by the Bingo Halls, Churchill Downs is the only organization exempt from the lawsuit so they stand to benefit greatly from this situation. The Metro Council Members commented that they have exempt Churchill Downs from the smoking ban because it competes head to head with other race tracks around the world and it is a well-known place in their community.


Sunday, February 25, 2007
Donna Regan

© 2014, All rights reserved.