IU Study: Smoking ban doesn't harm gambling venues

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Bloomington - Researchers say there is no economic incentive for lawmakers to exclude off-track betting facilities from a smoking ban considered in the Indiana Legislature.

An Indiana University study found that similar legislation implemented in Fort Wayne didn't hurt business at its OTB venue. The study looked at the amount gamblers spent at three OTB venues from 2002 to 2009. The facilities included the smoke-free one in Fort Wayne and two venues that allow smoking in Indianapolis and Merrillville.

Research showed per capita spending declined at a similar rate for all three venues.

Lead author of the study Jon Macy said past studies have said smoke-free laws don't have a negative effect on businesses but the IU study is one of the first to demonstrate such laws don't hurt gaming venues either.

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