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What is the Gambling Age

by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker
April 28, 2006

Age of gambling has risen from 18 to 21 for casinos, card rooms, the state lottery and scratch tickets, horseracing and bingo games with cash prizes. Current efforts to raise the gambling age appear headed toward a task force to sort out the details regarding the age of the gambling. Companion legislation in both the House and Senate is getting bogged down in the artful muddle of questions about whether the age of the gambling should be increased or not. State government's pocketbook is affected too, with the dire estimates on the cost of lost lottery sales, expensive overhead for redoing tickets and advertising, and the hit on state budgets, including money to fight problem gambling.

Kids gambling

Kids gambling studies suggest the sooner they get started, the riskier it can be for those disposed to having a problem. Young people gamble on cards, dice and sports. Long before the Internet, they were gambling on video games and, illegally, execute the daily lottery. The advent of online games and televised poker has increased the presence of gambling in the youth culture all over nowadays. Mom and Dad may take comfort the kids are all sitting around the dining room table playing in Texas Hold'em and not running around getting in trouble.

Social thinking

Let society send the message, however belatedly, to slow down and pace oneself against gambling that is entirely the message with state after state that raised the drinking age from 18 to 21. Socially endorsed adult pleasures come at an age with a bit more maturity. Or perhaps more accurately, a greater sense of the consequences of excess and addiction.

Are the casinos, card rooms, lottery games, horse tracks and bingo halls prepared to argue   that they will go under if the traffic fades from 18-, 19- and 20-year-olds.Part of the issue here is the capacity to bet big and lose big. No one is going to blow a car payment or tuition money playing skeeball or fishing for a stuffed any animal. Let us be honest about the definitions of games of chance and where the potential harms exist.








































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