Underage Gamblers to Face Fines in Maryland
Earlier this month Maryland state legislators passed a bill which would fine anyone under the age of 21 caught playing in a land-based casino. The bill is yet to be signed by Governor Martin O’Malley but it has received the support of Maryland casino operators.
The Maryland General Assembly has passed the legislation as has the Maryland House of Representatives. The support for the bill marks a major change in attitudes towards gambling, just two years ago the House failed to pass the same bill.
The bill was sponsored by Senator Katherine Klausmeier in the General Assembly. Now that both houses have agreed on the bill it will go to the governor. Given the unanimous support for the bill it is highly unlikely that O’Malley won’t sign it.
Until now Maryland casinos have faced fines if underage gamblers are found, the new bill places the responsibility on the gamblers who will instead pay the fines. The law is expected to help casinos as it is expected to make people think twice before attempting to enter a casino.
A first time offense will cost an underage gambler $100, a second offense results in a $500 fine and a third offense brings a $1,000 fine and compulsory enrolment in a problem gambling treatment program.