First Published January 27, 2012: CCO Warned of Constitutional Violation in Suggesting that Riverfront REZ Solves the Evansville City Council’s Latest Anti-Smoking Dilemma


Riverfront REZ Solves the Evansville City Council’s Latest Anti-Smoking Dilemma

By: Joe Wallace

In 1988 the State of California passed a statewide comprehensive smoking ban yet every casino in the state allows smoking on the casino floor. One could legitimately ask how it is possible for every casino in the state to openly and legally refuse to abide by the laws that every other person and business in the state is obligated to live by. It is possible because all of the casinos in California are on Indian Reservations that are not subject to the laws of the state.

Let us make it perfectly clear that if the Evansville City Council moves forward with an exemption to a future smoking ban for Casino Aztar they will be in willful violation of the constitution and the resolution will eventually be struck down if it goes to litigation.

So now that the battle lines have been drawn in the City of Evansville regarding whether or not an exemption should be made for Casino Aztar with respect to a nearly comprehensive smoking ban, maybe the Evansville City Council members can take a lesson from the Golden State and give the land that the city leases to Aztar to a tribe of friendly native Americans. The tribe can then petition the Bureau for Indian Affairs to declare their 20 or so acres on Evansville’s riverfront to become a reservation and subject to none of the smoking ordinances that have been or may be passed by the State of Indiana or the City of Evansville.

This idea as far-fetched as some may interpret it to be is a very elegant way for Casino Aztar to get the smoking rules that it wants, the City of Evansville to preserve its base of revenue, and for the City Council members who have openly stated support for a comprehensive smoking ban to dodge their responsibility without being publically exposed as purveyors of falsehood.

How would the City of Evansville be able to give away this land and still collect the revenue? This can happen with an assignment of the existing lease to the tribe followed by a contract from the tribe to guarantee the revenue to the City at let’s say the total of the 2011 Aztar based payments to the City. The tribe could then enter into an agreement with Aztar for any amount that the two parties are pleased with. Of course if Aztar thrives on the reservation the tribe will get wealthy from the increased payments but the City of Evansville would never get less than it does now soothing the newly found fears of certain City Council members.

If the City Council does not possess the courage to do what a majority of them have clearly and openly stated they would do and pass a comprehensive smoking ban then the best course of action may just be for the City of Evansville to get out of the casino dependency business and let the land become an Indian Reservation. This will allow everyone to get what they want and will enable certain members of the City Council to avoid flip-flopping on this very important public health issue.

Hanta Yo CCO!

Note: Hanta Yo is the Lakota Sioux phrase that translates to “Lead the Way”


  1. Get out of the Casino Dependancy business?
    Not going to happen,—turns out Cash the Cow was made King the Day the Voters said Yes at the polls to gambling. No politico is going to kill this “Goose” in your lifetime, or mine.

  2. this sounds like a snegal deal that you have so often despised under the dem. admn. the last four years. whats up with that?

    • Just trying to do a little tongue in cheek article on how the city council can shirk their task of being truthful stewards of Evansville. Sometimes when you see so much SNEGAL you start thinking like SNEGAL.

  3. Does the casino barge actually float inside the City of Evansville jurisdiction, or is it floating outside the city limits and in the county jurisdiction? What act of legislature or local ordinance conveys authority to the city council to regulate smoking on the boat if it in fact floats in the county’s jurisdiction?

    • Interesting topic. One thing for sure is that before the boat sized scoop was taken out of the City of Evansville so that the boat would not have to be moored in Kentucky that land was indeed in the City limits. Did enlarging the Ohio River into Indiana and the City of Evansville with a dredge change the city limits? If not I would think that the boat is in the city limits. You do bring up an interesting point.

      • You are correct that embankment excavation took place in an attempt to moor the boat totally or partially within the city limits. The city limits was set according to the waterline as it existed long, long ago. Since that time, there has been significant infilling of the embankment over a long period of time with rubble, etc., partially as revetment against erosion, and partially to gain land area and raise the elevation of the city park that once existed where the boat now is moored.

        Remember that park? It had a parking lot, a grassy area, and a large expanse of river bank revetted with large chunks of concrete rubble and rip rap. All that was added out into the river after the original establishment of the city limits.

        Only a land survey by a professional land surveyor will determine where the city limits runs today, and whether all, part, or none of the boat floats within the City of Evansville.

  4. The Casino has been a very valuable asset to both the City and the their employees. We should allow the casino an exemption so that the business can continue to grow and benefit all involved.

  5. For those who remember the broken down “park” Soon2b referred to – “park” is a stretch….not a nice place to walk, run, enjoy the river, picnic, meet friends. The beautiful riverfront we can all be proud of today is in large part a result of the casino.

  6. What a torch up the arse of local government and a prediction worthy of Nostradamus. How many other things did these clowns reject that Wallace suggested during his time there?

    • I don’t know but he does have some good ideas. Sometimes you need to reach back into history and you’ll find something that might work to solve modern problems or at least avoid them. If not…condemned to repeat…etc.

      I hate posting a current picture of me but it is relevant to the discussion.

  7. Three cheers for CCO and Mr. Wallace. To bad our elected officials didn’t listen to you all.

  8. Chief Second Dealer from Rising Sun has sent a scouting party down. That accounts for the tepees in the area. Their pipes account for the smoke emanating therefrom but the smiles on their faces can only be attributed to…again, their pipes.

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