(Bloomington, Ind.) - A new Indiana University study shows a statewide smoking ban in Indiana that includes casinos would not hurt the state’s gaming industry.
The study compared per capita the amount gamblers spent per number of people living in the county, for three Indiana off track betting facilities from 2002 to 2009.
An OTB in Fort Wayne came under the city’s 2007 smoke-free air law. Smoking was permitted at Indianapolis and Merrillville OTB’s included in the study during the same period.
The study found there was no change in the per capita trend at the Fort Wayne OTB before and after the smoking ban.
"Prior research has very clearly demonstrated that laws prohibiting smoking in public places and workplaces have no negative economic consequences in multiple industries," said Jon Macy, assistant professor in IU's School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation. "Our study is one of the first to find that this holds true for gaming facilities as well."
The findings contradict a non-partisan Legislative Services Agency study that said the state could lose more than $180 million a year in taxes if gamblers can’t smoke.
Indiana’s Senate is set to debate a statewide smoking ban bill Wednesday. In its current form, the legislation exempts bars and casinos – a provision Republicans say is necessary if the bill is to stand any chance of passing the chamber.
The Indiana University study can be read at http://newsinfo.iu.edu/news/page/normal/17819.html?emailID=17819.