Smoking Ban Passes In Indiana, Casinos Exempted

January 22nd, 2011 – by Glen Farmer

A state bill designed to impose a smoking ban in Indiana has taken its first steps into being signed into law. On Wednesday, the Indiana House Public Health Committee passed a 9-3 vote to endorse the bill that would prohibit smoking in public places and indoor work sites.

A source of criticism came from some parties due to the fact that gambling dens were exempt from the bill. Fearing a decline in gambling revenue, state legislators have exempted both casinos and pari-mutuel facilities from the ban. This includes horse tracks.

Proponents to the bill feel that the bill has a higher chance of overall success with the casino exemption clause written into its text. Senate President Pro Tem David Long (R-Fort Wayne) even went as far as to say that he would consider signing the bill into law if it exempted casinos from its guidelines. Governor Mitch Daniels also claimed that he would pass the ban into law if smoking were left out of the issue.

Opponents to the casino exemption have already come out against the legislation. “Even in the case of smokers,” began Representative Charlie Brown (D-Gary), “they will drop off for a while, but they love gaming so they’re going to come back even though they need to give up one vice to participate in another vice.”

The bill is likely to be passed or thrown out by the end of the session.

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