Bad economny? Just keep dropping the legal gambling age

November 16, 2008

Where were these harsh economic times when I was 18?
Sound like an awkward thing to wish for?  Yeah, normally I’d agree with you, but the state of Nevada, in an attempt to bring in a flood of new business to their casinos, is seriously considering dropping the legal gambling age to 18.
As reported in an article published by the Las Vegas Sun newspaper, suggestion raised by a gaming industry lawyer in a question-and-answer session with regulators at last Friday’s gaming law conference sponsored by the State Bar of Nevada.
Now, I’m all for this.  Even at 30, with the “coolness” of this law having passed me by for quite some time already, I can’t see a problem with it.
Let me rephrase that, I can’t see a real problem that would justify voting down this proposal.  Why?  I’ll explain.

1) The first, and strongest argument that I agree with, is the legal age for fighting in a war.  18.  The country considers you old and mature enough to decide how important your life is to you versus doing what’s right for your country.  You can make the call to travel abroad, spend months or years away from your family and familiar surroundings, and put your life on the line….but you aren’t mature enough back home to handle a few hundred bucks?  Please.

2) Similar to point #1, but on the different topic of voting…the legal age of which also is 18.  At no point in history perhaps was the weight and importance of voting as significant as it was just a couple weeks ago during this last presidential election.  You’re telling me some 18-year-old can make a smart, informed, mature decision – and be given the power to put someone like Sarah Palin in a position of national leadership along the way – to decide the presidency of the United States, but he can’t be trusted not to gamble away his summer McDonald’s earnings at the blackjack table?  C’mon now.

3) We’re almost there already.  The age requirement to play at tribal casinos in California and Arizona already is 18.  Our neighbor to the north has its gambling age set at 18, at least where Windsor casino is.  Indian reservation casinos around Wisconsin (where I used to live), are also 18.  Get with the program.

4) Sex.  Hello?  You can legally create life with someone else who’s 18 anywhere in the country (I think it’s actually younger in some states), but you can’t spin a roulette wheel a few times a night?  Whatever.

So what’s the holdup here folks?  Follow suit.  Do the patriotic thing for your country :)

Now, I readily admit it’s probably not the best, long-term solution for fixing the economy and housing market, but you gotta like how Nevada thinks.  And, if this isn’t a flashing red sign to ANYONE who gambles that you’re never going to win – especially when the state can legitimately come out and say getting more people into the casinos will guarantee more cash flow to the state – then you’re blind as a bat.

But that’s fine, I think most people are mature enough to realize you’re not going to a Las Vegas casino to win money unless you’re semi-professional.  You’re going there to have a good time. 

Hell, I knew that when I was 18.