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Casino Gambling Age Trying to Change in Washington State

Washington State government officials are hoping to make big changes when it comes to the casino gambling age. If new legislation is adopted and the law is changed, the state’s gambling age will go from 18 to 21. Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle, and Representative Mary Helen Roberts, D-Edmonds recently submitted the legislation. The casino poker industry has many activists concerned its influence on the young people of Washington State.

Televised poker tournaments and million dollar prizes seem to be the main reason for the increase in problem gambling among today’s youth. Although poker might be the main focus for the law change, the gambling age would be raised on all forms of legalized gambling, including race tracks, card rooms, mini-casinos, the state Lottery, and all of the other forms. ‘This is a sensible step that brings Washington’s gambling age in line with the drinking age, and the laws of most other states,’ said Jennifer McCausland, the director of Second Chance Washington. ‘Since there is a potential for (gambling) problem, just as we treat alcohol, let’s delay the experience to allow three more years of maturity that hopefully will bring them greater judgment and more discipline.’

All of these steps to change the current casino gambling age have one thing in common – they want to help prevent addictive gambling, both at such a young age, and at all. With so much exposure to online casino sites, casino gambling, and especially poker, it is easy to understand why so many young people enjoy playing and participating in this famous pastime. If the bill does go through, hopefully the effect the state is counting on will occur.

OCA News Editor

Jenny McKinnley is OCA’s financial correspondent. After spending years on the trading floor in both NY and London, she offers insight from the inside out on world financial news and events.