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Standley White

Lower the Gambling Age to 18?

By November 17, 2008

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Vintage slot machine at the Nevada State Museum, Carson City, Nevada
Vintage slot machine, Nevada State Museum, Carson City.
Photo © Stan White
With Nevada's state and local government revenues tanking, it's not surprising to hear talk of lowering the legal gambling age to 18. It makes some sense considering that the tax structure is based on tourism, retail sales, and gambling, all of which have taken a serious beating in the current recessionary climate. So, let's just expand the population of people eligible to support the state through patronizing our gaming establishments. After all, people 18 to 21 can already enter into contracts, vote, and join the military.

The political will for such a move doesn't seem to be there at the moment. According to a recent article in the Reno Gazette-Journal, Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons (R) is opposed, along with Democratic leaders in the State Legislature. Both Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford and Assembly Speaker Barbara Buckley gave the idea a cool reception. Given that they control the agenda, it appears doubtful anything of the sort will get a hearing during the upcoming 2009 legislative session.

I'll go on record as being opposed to the idea. It's abundantly clear that Nevada's revenue model needs a major overhaul designed to smooth out the boom or bust scenario that keeps playing over and over like a stuck record. I don't think throwing a questionable patch on the current system will do anything to help, and could very well be one of those notions that results in unintended bad consequences worse than the problem it was supposed to fix. Please vote in the poll and let us know what you think.

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Comments

June 23, 2012 at 1:54 am
(1) TahoeLover says:

You hit the nail right on the head…if you expand the customer base of the entertainment you provide then you create jobs, revenue and growth. If a man or a woman can fight for my freedom then they should be able to gamble, drink, etc….

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