The Des Moines County District Court has upheld the decision of the Alcoholic Beverages Division Administrator Lynn Walding to pull the liquor license of Otis Campbell’s bar in West Burlington over the state smoking ban. The Alcoholic Beverages Division says the court found that the Iowa Smokefree Air Act constitutionally regulates smoking for establishments that have a liquour license.
Walding issued a statement that said, “Today’s win in the Iowa District Court was much appreciated but, more importantly, the Iowa Smokefree Air Act has been winning in the court of public opinion. The vast majority of Iowans support the smoking ban and, almost two years after its enactment, are enjoying the clean air benefits of the act.”
The smoking ban went into effect in July of 2008. The owners of Otis Campbell’s had argued that it is unconsitutional to allow an exemption to the law for state-licensed casinos and other facilites.
Part of the court ruling addressed the casino issue saying:”It is clear that there is a reasonable basis for exempting casinos. Simply put, the State would lose too much money by banning smoking in casino gambling areas.”
The court says that is a reasonable basis for exempting casino gaming areas from the smoking ban and that exemption does not violate the Federal Equal Protection Clause.