Michigan bar owner angry over keno lossesBoyd Cottrell is the owner of Sport O’Toole’s bar which is located in Warren, Michigan. Cottrell is very angry over a smoking ban that was created in the state and has taken his case to court. Cottrell claims he is losing out on keno sales as well as liquor and food sales.
The bar owner is challenging the ban on the grounds that is giving casinos an unfair advantage as well as illegally cutting into his profits. Cottrell appeared in court recently to argue his challenge but the hearing was eventually adjourned for two weeks. The reason the date was moved was because the judge did not receive copies of the legal briefs which was the result of a clerical error.
Cottrell commented in a local newspaper that before the smoking ban he was breaking even at his bar or making a slight profit. However now he is losing $2,500 each month because his is losing keno sales as well as liquor and food sales.
Cottrell stated that patrons that would normally visit his establishment to play keno are now visiting casinos to play games. Cottrell stated that he was equal protection under the law. Cottrell’s attorney Red Andris commented that the smoking ban violates the fifth and 14th amendments to the United States constitution as well as similar clauses in the state constitution.
Cottrell stated that about twelve bar owners came to the hearing and he is expecting a bigger group of people to support him at the next hearing in two weeks. Cottrell invested his entire life savings when he purchased the bar back in 2009 and said he was doing well until the smoking ban started. The bar owner stated he can only stay open for about two more months due to his currently financial status.
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