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For a long time people have been arguing that if a person is old enough to serve in the military than they are old enough to drink and gamble. These people have not won the argument often, but in Washington drinking and gambling are being lumped together once again.
A new Bill in the state Legislature would make casino gambling by minors a civil infraction. The law would create similar consequences for minors that consumed alcohol under the legal age limits.
“The worst I think is for these kids to not be caught. I think it would prevent more of them from gambling, certainly,’ said David Anderson, Chairman of Save Lakewood.
The state Senate is behind the Bill and has already approved it. The Bill must now be approved in the House before Governor Chris Gregoire signs it into law.
The goal of lawmakers is to have accountability for minors who break the gambling laws in the state. Previously it has been the casino owners who have been held responsible, but the new Bill would create a penalty for underage gamblers.
Although casinos in Washington claim to do their best at keeping minors from gambling, they can only police so much. A law would put the responsibility on the minors as well as the casino owners.
“Currently the operator of the card room or casino, they’re fined heavily and the juvenile just walks right out the door. This I think will bring some awareness to those juveniles who think gambling is OK and fun,” said Senator Jerome Delvin, who is sponsoring the Bill.
Gambling Could Prove Costly For Children Under New Washington Law
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The state of Washington is trying to make things as clear as possible for underage gamblers. That is why they have approved a new law that will fine anyone that is underage and caught gambling in a casino.
The law was passed on Monday and it gives accountability not only to the casinos and card rooms in the state, but also the underage gamblers themselves. The Senate passed the law with little opposition.
Senator Jerome Delvin sponsored the law and he hopes it will raise awareness for gamblers in the state that are under the legal gambling age in the state. There is not an overwhelming problem of underage gambling, but Delvin is hoping this law will prevent one.
Last month the issue was brought up at a meeting and there were no objections to the law. That paved the way for the vote today, which ended in the law being passed.
The state has a similar law on the books that punishes underage drinkers with a fine. In the case of the casino law, not only would they be fined, but they would be required to forfeit any of their winnings at the casino.
Nontribal casinos have been a proponent of the new law. It helps that they will no longer be the only ones responsible for the underage gambling. The state Gambling Commission has also thrown their support behind the law.