FRANKFORT, Ky. (CN) – The Kentucky Court of Appeals reinstated a finding that Louisville’s smoking ban does not apply to bingo hall owners who rent their facilities to bingo-playing charities.
Hall owners challenged the city’s Smoke Free Law, a public smoking ban enforced by the Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Code Enforcement Board of Appeals. An investigation by the state health department revealed people smoking, ashtrays and other tell-tale indicators that the bingo halls were not abiding by the ban.
The board issued citations and imposed a $50 fine per facility. A group of bingo hall owners challenged the fine, claiming the law did not apply to them, because they leased their buildings to nonprofits, which are private organizations.
A federal judge ruled in their favor, but the circuit court said the judge could only review the board’s rulings for arbitrariness.
The appellate court remanded, instructing the circuit court to determine whether the district properly applied the private organization exemption to the bingo hall owners.