by Goldy, 01/30/2006, 1:19 PM

I’ve been known to occasionally voice subtle criticisms of the Seattle Times editorial board, but when they’re right, they’re right:

RAISE the state gambling age from 18 to 21 for casinos, cardrooms, the state lottery and scratch tickets, horse racing and bingo games with cash prizes.

That is our starting point for the conversation the Legislature is likely to have between now and the 2007 session. Current efforts to raise the gambling age appear headed toward a task force to sort out the details. Companion legislation in both the House and Senate is getting bogged down in the artful muddle of questions about whether the church carnival ring toss constitutes gambling.

Yes, raise the gambling age; that should be both our starting point and our ending point in the 2006 session. The science overwhelmingly supports it, as does a bipartisan majority in both houses of the state Legislature. This is such a commonsense policy, that when queried, most voters believe the legal gambling age already is 21.

Even the two biggest players in the state’s multi-billion dollar gambling industry — the tribal casinos and the commercial card rooms — apparently recognize the terrible impact of gambling addiction on our youth. The vast majority of tribal and commercial casinos already refuse to admit patrons under the age of 21, and as long as the law is applied uniformly, they will not oppose SB-5523/HB-2872.

This bill is a no-brainer that achieves real results now, and is totally in line with the anti-gambling sentiments of voters who overwhelmingly rejected Tim Eyman’s stupid slot machine initiative in 2004. It will, in some form, sail through the Senate this session, and the only thing apparently standing in the way of a lopsided victory in the House, is Commerce & Labor Committee chair, Steve Conway (D-Tacoma).

At a hearing last week, Rep. Conway expressed concerns that the bill might have unintended consequences by outlawing carnival games. He suggested that the proposal should be sent to a “task force” for further study.

Hmm. This subject has been studied ad nauseam for years, and I sincerely doubt a new task force will come to a different conclusion. Every major scientific study has recommended raising the gambling age to 21, and most other states having already complied. With the explosion in access to gambling we have experienced over the past 15 years, and the media’s new youth-focused poker craze in full swing, it is long past time for Washington state to follow suit. If there is a problem with the language of the bill, fix it and pass it.

As to horse racing and charitable bingo, whose lobbyists would like an exemption, and the state lottery, whose representatives raised the issue of the cost of lost revenues, I think the Times succinctly picks apart their selfish arguments:

Are the casinos, cardrooms, lottery games, horse tracks and bingo halls prepared to argue they will go under if the traffic fades from 18-, 19- and 20-year-olds?

No, of course not.

As much as 50 percent of all gambling profits come at the expense of problem gamblers, and teens have three times the addiction rate of adults. It would be irresponsible to argue that the state lottery, for example, should be funding education on the backs of addicted teens.

The science is clear: the earlier the age of exposure, the higher the incidence of addiction. It’s time to stop playing games with teen gambling, and raise our gambling age to 21.

73 Responses to “Stop playing games with teen gambling”

1. ArtFart spews:

To…uhhh…get back to the original subject:

“Even the two biggest players in the state’s multi-billion dollar gambling industry – the tribal casinos and the commercial card rooms”

They’re bigger than the state lottery? You have to be kidding!

I suspect the casinos want to raise the age to make it easier for them to get all their patrons drunk so as to make it easier to empty their pockets–before they stagger out to their pickups for the long drive home.

2. thehim spews:

The point is, we draw a line somewhere, and 18 is no less arbitrary than 21. Indeed, brain science tells us that 18 is much more arbitrary, for the brain continues to mature into one’s early twenties. The science says that an 18-year-old is considerably more vulnerable to developing addiction than a 21-year-old.

Goldy, this has nothing to do with brain cells, it has to do with practicality. 18 is NOT as arbitrary as 21. 18 is the age that children are no longer legal dependents, and can decide they no longer have to live with their parents. And 18 is the age that many children leave home to live on their own.

And the reality is, teens are getting addicted to gambling at record rates.

Sure, and your proposal does absolutely nothing to stop this, just as the current drinking age does nothing to stop alcohol problems among 18-20 year-olds, and in fact makes them worse.

And for many teens, raising the gambling age to 21 will reduce their access and exposure.

What are you basing this on? Are you gonna tell me that there are more children in this state living near a casino than with access to the internet?

The campaign to raise the gambling age is not about morality, it is about addressing a public health crisis. Denying that this crisis exists will not make it go away.

And neither will supporting solutions that will make the problem worse. If you think you’re going to protect any 18-20 year old in this state by raising the gambling age, you are seriously kidding yourself. All you’re doing is raising the taboo factor of gambling, and as a result, causing online gambling to become a significantly bigger problem than it already is.

3. Gray Coyote spews:

This is too nanny state. Come on, Goldy, you should know better than to take away 18-21 year old’s civil liberties merely based on something that they can’t change for 3 years.

We can vote. I personally think discrimination based on age between 18 and 21 is a violation of equal protection and unconstitutional.

4. thehim spews:

The operative word there is “was.” Now she’s gone rogue and you guys can’t distance yourselves from her quickly enough. I stand by my statement that you used her to get media attention and discarded her when she deviated from the script.

Don’t kid yourself. Cindy Sheehan was never a tool of the Democrats. She actually became quite frustrated with Congressional Dems.

Cindy Sheehan was both good and bad for Democrats. She was a lightning rod for Republicans who need as many distractions as they can get right now, but she also played a role in turning public opinion against this President and his failed (and dangerous) foreign policy. I think the size of her effect of both vectors are greatly exaggerated. She was just a “right person, right time” figure. She was a voice for an emerging public consensus.

5. Goldy spews:

To all of you repeating the “old enough vote, old enough die for one’s country, old enough to gamble” meme, either you just don’t get it, or you refuse to get it, or you do get it and refuse to admit it. That argument is a red herring, pure and simple.

Drinking and gambling are not the same thing as voting or driving or serving in the military. There is no social good that comes from drinking and gambling, and there’s very little chance of becoming addicted to voting or driving or military service.

Few amongst you would argue that 8-year-olds should be allowed to buy beer and lottery tickets at the local 7-11. Well how about 12-year-olds? 16-year-olds?

The point is, we draw a line somewhere, and 18 is no less arbitrary than 21. Indeed, brain science tells us that 18 is much more arbitrary, for the brain continues to mature into one’s early twenties. The science says that an 18-year-old is considerably more vulnerable to developing addiction than a 21-year-old. And the reality is, teens are getting addicted to gambling at record rates.

The earlier the age of exposure, the higher the incidence of addiction. That is a fact. And for many teens, raising the gambling age to 21 will reduce their access and exposure.

The campaign to raise the gambling age is not about morality, it is about addressing a public health crisis. Denying that this crisis exists will not make it go away.

6. Mark spews:

Cougar @ 55 & marks @ 56

Absolutely.

Donna @ 57: “I thought Sheehan was a tool of the Democrats”

The operative word there is “was.” Now she’s gone rogue and you guys can’t distance yourselves from her quickly enough. I stand by my statement that you used her to get media attention and discarded her when she deviated from the script.

Face it, Donna, the more people that kick the Kool-Aid habit, the fewer friends comrades you’ll have. You’ll be left all alone… marching down Main Street by yourself with your raggedy protest sign… while drivers in passing cars throw tomatoes at you.

7. SDA in SEA spews:

Goldy, I have to disagree with you on this one. At age 18, you become an adult. Being an adult give you the right to make bad choices without mommy or the government telling you what to do. Like gambling to excess, smoking, jointing the Army, buying a house you can’t afford, getting married to someone you barely know, etc.

Yes, a certain percentage of people who gamble get addicted and have problems with it. Including some people between 18-21. But also lots of people over 21. So why only protect adults who are between 18-20? If you feel that 18-20 year old adults need to be protected from the evils of gambling, why don’t 21 year old adults need to be protected from the evils of gambling?

I think it is stupid to cherry pick certain vices that we can’t participate in until we are 21. I include drinking in this category. If 18 is adult enough to vote, own property, and join the military and kill for your country, then why is it not adult enough to drink or gamble? It is just inconsistent and sends a mixed message. If you think 18 year olds are too immature to gamble, why do you think they are mature enough to vote? I think all adult activities should consistently be the same age. Either lower them all to 18, or raise them all to 21 (or whatever age you consider someone mature enough to be an adult).

8. ConservativeFirst spews:

Comment by bill— 1/30/06 @ 5:58 pm

I think marks summed it up pretty well regarding raising (or lowering) the age one is considered an adult.

9. Belltowner spews:

Social conservative ought to step up and show leadership on this issue.

10. Libertarian spews:

Holy Jeepers, Goldy! I actually agree with you on this one. I’d say let’s make the gambling age 21 to match the state’s drinking age. That seems reasonable to me and not so much of a restriction to individual liberties.

11. Momus spews:

Correct me if I am wrong.

gamblkings profits go to the tribes.

The tribes pay lobbyists

The lobbyists pay Patty Murray

Goldy, aren’t you attacking your base here/

12. rujax206 spews:

Not a fucking chance…it’ll cost Abramoff/BushCo(tm) money.

13. rujax206 spews:

All together now…

SHUT UP MOMUS…YOU IGNORAMUS!!!!

14. Daddy Love spews:

momus
You’re projecting again. It’s the conservatives’ worst habit. You must assume that the motives of others are corrupt and venal because you cannot imagine anyone having motives different from your own.

Just as you assume that, given access to the machinery of elections, others are corruptly manipulating results to seize power and crush their enemies because you cannot imagine any other reaction to the fact of that access.

15. GBS spews:

Momar’s @ 3

If this isn’t a perfect example of drinking waaaaaaaaay too much of hte conservative Kool-aid and wearing a tin foil hat, then there’s no such thing. And, to think ass wipes like this get to vote!!

Momar’s + MTR + voting = Hell in a handbasket.

16. BOB from BOEING spews:

Blue noses crap —- bettter ourlaw premarital xes, causes mommies and daddys a lot of problems,

Send them to die, give them the vote ……oh but they are not adults.

Silly to the max. At one time Washington outlawed all gambling……are we going backwards in time.

Next a dry state ….

17. Roger Rabbit spews:

I suppose the wingnuts will weigh in with a diatribe against paternalistic government protecting people from themselves.

Conservative philosophy: Everyone for himself, survival of the fittest, fuck you!!

According to this logic, government has no business painting crosswalks or installing walk signs, because if you’re dumb enough to get run over you don’t belong in the gene pool!

According to this logic, government should not interfere with 4-year-olds packing guns, because if you’re stupid enough to get shot by a gun-toting 4-year-old, you probably shouldn’t have been born in the first place.

18. Roger Rabbit spews:

6

“You’re projecting again. It’s the conservatives’ worst habit. You must assume that the motives of others are corrupt and venal because you cannot imagine anyone having motives different from your own.”

Actually, I think the real problem is conservatives can’t imagine themselves not being corrupt.

19. Roger Rabbit spews:

Two things I’m wondering about, though. First, since Congress and not states regulates tribal gambling, can the state raise the legal gambling age for tribal casinos? Second, even if Washington raises the gambling age to 21, will that keep teens away from internet gambling?

20. Mark The Redneck spews:

Great cause for the nanny state. I’m sure the girlz will be all over this. “For The Children…”

Gambling is great because it’s a tax paid by losers and stoopid people. The screwing that the “something for nothing” crowd gets from the Casino Americans is well deserved due to their lack of character. Every tax dollar paid by the casinos is a tax dollar that I don’t have to pay.

Have at it losers…

21. BOB from BOEING spews:

Eyman steps into gay rights debate
By CHRIS McGANN
SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER REPORTER

The debate over gay rights in Washington state may not be over.

Initiative promoter Tim Eyman on Monday filed two ballot measures putting new gay civil-rights protections before Washington voters.

On Friday, the state Senate passed a measure that would outlaw discrimination against gays and lesbians in employment, housing or lending. Gov. Christine Gregoire is expected to sign the bill this week.

Friday’s 25-23 roll call vote in the Senate was a countdown to victory for gay rights advocates who have fought long and hard to pass the anti-discrimination legislation. The bill expands the Washington Civil Rights Act, which protects minorities from discrimination based on race, religion, gender and disabilities.

However, it would not on its own give gays and lesbians the right to marry. Conservatives argue that homosexuals have never face faced the institutional discrimination that those others groups have faced, and so the legislax tion was unnecessary.

On Monday, Eyman said: “The people oppose important public policy changes being made without voter approval. The voters want an open debate where both sides are given the opportunity to have their voices heard and to persuade the voters on the issues involved. And after months of deliberation and discussion, the voters want to have the final say so that the decision can be made without fear of retaliation or intimidation.”

Eyman is a controversial, for-profit initiative backer who has sponsored numerous measures over the years – including one that reduced the state’s vehicle tabs to $30.
Chris McGann can be reached at 360-943-3990 or chrismcgann@seattlepi.com.

22. Momus spews:

Bunny Boy,

You bring up an excellent off topic point.

“According to this logic, government has no business painting crosswalks or installing walk signs, because if you’re dumb enough to get run over you don’t belong in the gene pool!”

A recent study showed that pedestrian deaths were higher in king county than anywhere else in the country.

Could this be a way of proving that liberals can’t even learn one of the first couple lessons a child is taught?

1. Get potty trained.
2. Look both ways before crossing the street.

Unfortnately, rule #2 appears to be too difficult for the donks in our part of the country.

23. Aaron spews:

So, let me get this straight. We say to our 18-20 year old citizens, “Look, you’re an adult now. You need to work, pay taxes and contribute to Social Security. You have the right to decide who operates your government and how. You can drive a car and, in fact, you have been doing so for years. If you commit a crime, you are responsible and you’re going to prison, amybe for life–if it was really serious, we’ll have you put to death. If necessary you WILL learn to operate weapons and kill, to fight our wars and die for your country (or for your country’s goals).

However, you cannot spend your money where/how you would like. You cannot play games of chance.”

As Libertatian said it “not so much of a restriction to individual liberties.” Fantastic!

24. BOB from BOEING spews:

9 Rodger

Rodger, you are good at typing, and most of you posting is substantial, but this has NOTHING to do with a 4 year pld in a crosswalk.

Take a nap – and get your perspective together. At 18 were you still on mommies tit? Asking daddy about the pussy you had staked out?

In this era, 18 is adult — full adult. Like it or not, they get their vices.

25. Momus spews:

Goldy, you should also start championing that the driving age be brought to 21 as 18-20 year old teen driving deaths are higher than any other age group as well.

Also, if we raised the ages of high school graduation (say adding grades 13-16), more than likely, the kids in this state would do better on the WASL as well.

26. Libertarian spews:

Aaron, what’s your point? Gambling is not that big a deal, whether it’s playing pull tabs in a tavern or buying a lottery ticket. Making it an age-21 item isn’t such a big deal, and i’m sure it ain’t gonna kill anyone.

27. Mark spews:

The voting age should be raised to 21. If “boxers or briefs” is your biggest concern…

People can join the military at 18, but cannot be put directly in harm’s way (war, police action, etc.) overseas until age 21. Yes, they could be called up to defend the country here.

The driving age should be left where it is, but there should be mandatory behind-the-wheel retesting at 65 and every 5 years thereafter.

28. Belltowner spews:

@ 15

In WA. You can still gamble at age 14 in Alabama.

I’m really sick of the whole ‘nanny state’ meme. It’s just intellectually lazy.

29. momus spews:

Belltowner,

I’m trying to make sense of what tyou are attempting to say and well, it’s just does not make sense?

Are for or against nanny states?

30. Aaron spews:

Libertarian,

I do not feel comfortable deciding which liberties are a “big deal” for other people, and, given your moniker here, I am suprised you do.

The balancing act often requires weighing the individual liberty vs. the infingement on another’s liberty or the cost to society. Gambling, though an unfortunate pitfall to some, has little cost to society as a whole and infringes little on the liberties of others.

31. momus spews:

Aaron,

Then what about personal accountability?

32. Donnageddon spews:

“People can join the military at 18, but cannot be put directly in harm’s way (war, police action, etc.) overseas until age 21.”

Uh, Nope. Once the get through bootcamp it is off to the meat grinder in the Iraq Civil War.

http://icasualties.org/oif/US_NAMES.aspx

Your gonna find far too many between 18-21.

WARNING! This is a long list. 2241 takes a lot of space

33. Aaron spews:

That list is disheartening.

34. Mark spews:

Donna @ 24

No, you nitwit. Those three statements were my positions on the age issue, not how things are. Did you think the other two statements were facts?

And, BTW, where is all your love for Cindy Sheehan? Is she just another one-protest-stand? Won’t you love her just the same in the light of day?

35. Aaron spews:

In fairness to Donna, I misread your post as well. Your tense in the middle paragraph isn’t conditional, so it was clear on the first read.

36. Donnageddon spews:

Mark, you seem to be a little late for the party, The Cindy Sheehan talking point has been repeated by the other TROLLs too many times.

It’s kinda stale. You need to keep up with the wingnut talking points a little better.

37. Donnageddon spews:

I shouldn’t have pointed that out, (M)(m)ark(s).

Now you may not get paid for today.

38. Another TJ spews:

Gambling, though an unfortunate pitfall to some, has little cost to society as a whole…

On what basis do you make this claim?

39. Libertarian spews:

Aaron – I’d say the recent SCOTUS decision allowing govenrments to seize people’s homes so greed-head devlopers can build shops and boutiques is a far more serious threat to individual liberty than putting a nuisance restirction on young people’s gambling habits. Is it really gonna make a big differnece in a kids life if he or she has to wait until age 21 to be an ass with his or her money?

40. righton spews:

Make all gambling illegal.

Nothing wrong w/ retreating to the 60′s when only bookies and Vegas stole money.

State now sucks the life out of the poor, lies about it being for schools, schools still crappy

I think gambling is a popular Democrat thing, right? Rum, rebellion, playing craps.

41. Aaron spews:

@30
Because I’ve yet to see statistics or data (convincing, that is) detailing such a cost. Further, it is intuitive.

The cost of drugs, cigarettes and alcohol goes well beyond the costs to the individual. Both common sense and a whole hell of a lot of studies and data show us this.

Gambling’s costs are, more or less, constrained to the participating individual and those close to him.

If you feel this is wrong, educate me.

42. Belltowner spews:

Cajun Dirty Rice

INGREDIENTS:

3/4 pound chicken gizzards
3 1/2 cups hot chicken or beef broth
2 tablespoons drippings or oil
4 tablespoons butter, divided
1/2 pound ground pork
1/2 cup each chopped onions, celery, green pepper &
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
or a dash of Tabasco sauce
1 1/2 cups long-grain rice
1/2 pound chicken livers, minced

PREPARATION:

Simmer the chicken gizzards in broth for 30 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon and grind or chop fine. Heat drippings or oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter in a heavy casserole. Sauté the pork and chopped gizzards over high heat until browned, stirring frequently.
Lower heat, add vegetables and seasonings, and cook until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add rice and reserved broth, quickly bring to a boil, stir once, cover, and lower heat. Simmer 15 minutes.
Saute minced chicken livers in remaining butter for 3 minutes. Toss with the rice, taste for seasoning, and adjust. Cover and put in a low 225° oven for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve.
Serves 6 as a main dish.

43. Aaron spews:

@31
I’m not claiming this is an end-of-the-world issue. I doubt there will be civil war any time soon over gambling.

It’s easy to strip away the rights of teenagers; they make no fuss and we all know they won’t vote.

44. ConservativeFirst spews:

Comment by Libertarian— 1/30/06 @ 3:51 pm

“Aaron – I’d say the recent SCOTUS decision allowing govenrments to seize people’s homes so greed-head devlopers can build shops and boutiques is a far more serious threat to individual liberty than putting a nuisance restirction on young people’s gambling habits. Is it really gonna make a big differnece in a kids life if he or she has to wait until age 21 to be an ass with his or her money?”

I agree with you on SCOTUS.

Not to put words in Aaron’s mouth, but I think the issue is that a true libertarian wouldn’t be advocating restricting the rights of an adult. Personally I think libertarianism is much like communism, it sounds great. Given a small group of like minded people it might work, but applying the principles to a large society seems foolhardy.

FYI, I think the following is a good summarization of libertarian philosophy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarian

“According to Walter Block, a U.S. Austrian School economist, the “non-aggression axiom is the linchpin” of libertarianism.[6] Individuals may not violate the rights of others by initiating the use of force, though force is not considered immoral when it is used in response to an initiation of force, threat, or fraud (as in self-defense).”

45. Another TJ spews:

Because I’ve yet to see statistics or data (convincing, that is) detailing such a cost. Further, it is intuitive.

The cost of drugs, cigarettes and alcohol goes well beyond the costs to the individual. Both common sense and a whole hell of a lot of studies and data show us this.

Gambling’s costs are, more or less, constrained to the participating individual and those close to him.

How do the lost work time, increased crime, bankruptcies and other social costs associated with gambling differ significantly from those of drugs, cigarettes, and alcohol?

According to this: http://www.news.uiuc.edu/news/04/0308grinols.html

According to evidence cited by Grinols, gambling causes addictive and destructive behavior much like alcohol and drugs. About 30 percent of the population does not gamble, and most people who gamble do so infrequently, such as on an occasional trip to Las Vegas. However, about 10 percent of the population gambles regularly and accounts for up to 80 percent of the wagers in casino enterprises.

This means that the gaming industry’s profits are based on a relatively small number of addicted gamblers who run up huge costs to themselves, their families and society.

What is it about the data that you object to?

46. ConservativeFirst spews:

by Goldy, 01/30/2006, 1:19 PM

“The science is clear: the earlier the age of exposure, the higher the incidence of addiction. It’s time to stop playing games with teen gambling, and raise our gambling age to 21.”

The incidence of nicotine addiction is quite a bit higher (in all age groups) than gambling. So would you support a complete ban of products containing nicotine?

47. marks spews:

Donna @29

(M)(m)ark(s).

Yeah, there are a bunch of us, with some traveling (and even encamped) far out in right field. I take some feinting trips in that direction, but generally try to stay somewhere close to the middle.

Goldy,

My main problem with this is similar to what has been said already: If you are old enough to die for your country, why can’t you gamble? The gov’t is already gambling with your life.

Primarily, my point deals with the 27th Amendment. If a person is old enough to participate in such a process as approving their representatives, then they are old enough to drive, hold a job, own a firearm, and throw their money away in spectacular fashions like smoking, drinking, whoring, and gambling. What’s the fuss?

If you want to discuss how we take all of that away from those adults, then that would be worthy of discussion…

48. Aaron spews:

@37
I didn’t say “no cost”, but the cost to society of, say, the automobile industry is orders of magnitude higher. Ok, automobile give something back. High fat/calorie food then. The cost of Obesity is enormous. Are we going pass laws limiting the sale of Doritos to those under 21?

Further, the statistic that 80% of casino revenue is generated by 10% of the population is a flawed statistic; there is too little information. It is entirely uninteresting that the bulk of such revenues would be generated by the few. This can be attributable to the wealthy (a very few who spend a whole lot) and the avid gambler (who are few and gamble a lot.) In any industry there is the avid consumer/fan who makes up a large part of the revenue.

Not surprisingly, casinos cater to
1) the wealthy
2) the return customer

Of course, this doesn’t differ a lot from many industries.

49. marks spews:

@39

Did not mean to imply drinking is age 18, but why is it not?

50. Mark The Redneck spews:

So if gambling is such an awful thing, do you moonbats have the courage to insist that Casino Americans knock it off and do something honest instead?

No? I didn’t think so…

51. marks spews:

errata @39

26th Amendment

52. Mark spews:

marks @ 41

The de jure drinking age may be 21, but because too many parents [read: self-centered boomers] were unwilling to be parents for so many years, the de facto drinking (and druggin’ and fornicatin’) age is now somewhere in the low teens. :(

And, BTW, the Far Right has done NOTHING to help on this, either. The Lefties are all “whatever feels good to you, maaaaannnnn” and the Righties want to chain every kid to a Bible and stick them in a dungeon until they’re 25. It is just sad.

53. Mark spews:

Donna @ 28

Yes, Cindy herself is a bit stale. A one-trick pony that the Dems used and discarded (and you probably didn’t even give her cab fare home). BUT the whole “running for Senate” issue is new. Are you saying you already KNEW she was a way, way, way Left wacko when you were composing love sonnets to her on HA?

Does she represent the core of the Democratic Party today? Do you agree with her latest actions and statements? Or can you admit she’s gone off the deep end?

54. marks spews:

Mark @45

and you probably didn’t even give her cab fare home

That would be costly fare home from the arms of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela…

55. Another TJ spews:

I didn’t say “no cost”

I didn’t suggest that you did. Your argument was that the costs were different – born only by those directly involved in gambling. The best available evidence suggests that this is not the case and that the associated costs are similar in form to those of the examples you listed.

I didn’t say “no cost”, but the cost to society of, say, the automobile industry is orders of magnitude higher. Ok, automobile give something back. High fat/calorie food then. The cost of Obesity is enormous. Are we going pass laws limiting the sale of Doritos to those under 21?

You’ve shifted your argument to suggest that the size of the costs are not sufficient to warrant concern. The link I provided was to a summary of a book about the costs of gambling. The author pegged it at roughly half the cost of drug abuse. Even if this is exaggerated by 100% (that is, the real cost is 25% that of drug abuse), this is a lot of money. At what point does it become large enough to merit government intervention? Given that we are in the midst of a “gambling craze,” it’s reasonable to conclude that the costs are only going to rise in the near future. Even if we conclude that it’s not a crisis now, should we wait until it is a crisis before we act?

I don’t have any solutions. I don’t know if raising the gambling age to 21 is the right thing to do. But I’m not going to recommend waiting until the costs of acting are even higher.

56. klake spews:

In this era, 18 is adult — full adult. Like it or not, they get their vices.

Comment by BOB from BOEING— 1/30/06 @ 2:28 pm

Bob the age should be increase to 21 so they can be protected from their school teachers fantasies. Hell they not even ready to vote becauce they can’t read. They can’t even read the labels on the beer cans that say you have to be 21 to drink. The exceptions would be if your last name is Kennedy.

57. marks spews:

Mark @45,

Since the Democrats on this thread don’t want to discuss it, I will. I think the Sheehanigans (not an original coinage, see GOOGLE) of this last week have indeed relegated her to “TOOL” status.

Further, I am shocked nobody embraced Joel Stein’s opinion piece in the LA Times.

58. marks spews:

ATJ @47

I don’t know if raising the gambling age to 21 is the right thing to do. But I’m not going to recommend waiting until the costs of acting are even higher.

I won’t claim any moral high ground here (I am a gambler at times, yet the gambling conditions must be right for me to assume the mantle), but I would make some suggestions:

1) The Administration must negotiate an end to Indian Casinos (waiting for the inevitable Abramoff response)…and Congress should give approval of the treaty when it is completed.

2) Nevada has been my favorite gambling destination. I think we should keep it at that.

Unfortunately, taking the ca$inos away from the Tribes will have a very negative effect on them (duh!). It is up to the feds to determine what new venue the Tribes can dabble in, as well as fair market value of the ca$ino trade given up by the Tribes, and the Tribes must agree to the plan (um, this will cost money, in case anyone is mistaken). Any bets the feds come up with something lucrative for the Tribes? Or that the Tribes will agree to give up the cash cow allowed to them for some sort of ephemeral future endeavor?

59. bill spews:

Libertarian, regarding:

I’d say the recent SCOTUS decision allowing govenrments to seize people’s homes so greed-head devlopers can build shops and boutiques is a far more serious threat to individual liberty than putting a nuisance restirction on young people’s gambling habits. Is it really gonna make a big differnece in a kids life if he or she has to wait until age 21 to be an ass with his or her money?

Is your arguement really going to be that there are bigger encroachments on liberty so its not worth fighting on this one? That seems a little weak.

Conservative first said

The incidence of nicotine addiction is quite a bit higher (in all age groups) than gambling. So would you support a complete ban of products containing nicotine?

Same thing I guess, what does that have to do with whether or not teens gambling should be allowed or not? You can point out hypocracy all day long, but at the end of the day, youve still not give an arguement for or against teen gambling, in fact you entirely ignored the issue.

60. marks spews:

bill @51

And your thoughts on my opinion(s) @39 (and subsequent posts)???

61. JCH spews:

Has anyone ever seen Joel Stein and Goldy together? [That's what I thought!]

62. Cougar spews:

MTR @ 12, not all gambling debts get paid though do they? LMAO@U

63. Cougar spews:

Mark @ 45, I do not think any regular has been saying that Sheehan is ‘the norm’ for the Democrat Party. She has her point of view and some agree fully, some agree a little and others do not abide by her views. Thinking that she is the ‘core’ of the party would be like everyone thinking DeLay is the ‘core’ of you Republicans. There are good and evil on both sides. You just have to be tuned in enough to make your own decisions.

64. marks spews:

Cougar @55

Thinking that she is the ‘core’ of the party would be like everyone thinking DeLay is the ‘core’ of you Republicans.

Pardon me as I congratulate and thank you, Cougar. headless/VA/harry poon would have me think otherwise.

Mark,

Sorry, I “declared victory” and went home…

65. thehim spews:

I suspect the casinos want to raise the age to make it easier for them to get all their patrons drunk so as to make it easier to empty their pockets–before they stagger out to their pickups for the long drive home.

Yeah, those sober 18-20 year olds really clean them out…

Further, I would argue that 18 year-olds generally don’t have much money. If you are going to get a financially-based vice out of your system, better that you should do it when you are young and don’t have much to lose.

Jsa, I agree with a lot of what you say, but a stupid 18 year-old does have something very vital he can lose, a good credit rating. Although, the main point in all of this is that he’s more likely to end up with a bad credit rating if he gambles unsupervised on the internet rather than in a casino, which the state has more power to regulate.

66. jsa on commercial drive spews:

I don’t gamble. My point of view on gambling is actually pretty close to MTR’s @ 12. I see this as a sign of the coming Apocalypse.

There is only one thing you need to know about gambling. The house always wins. If you haven’t figured that out at 18, another 3 years probably won’t learn you so well either.

Other than cussedness, there’s a point to this. If you weren’t brought up with very good self-control mechanisms, they do kick in after a while. Usually in your late 20s. Protecting people from things that might harm them until that late age is beyond what I consider to be the reasonable purview of the state.

Further, I would argue that 18 year-olds generally don’t have much money. If you are going to get a financially-based vice out of your system, better that you should do it when you are young and don’t have much to lose.

67. Donnageddon spews:

(M)(m)ark(s)

This is hilarious!!!!

“Yes, Cindy herself is a bit stale. A one-trick pony that the Dems used and discarded (and you probably didn’t even give her cab fare home). BUT the whole “running for Senate” issue is new.”

But (M)(m)ark(s), I thought Sheehan was a tool of the Democrats? LOL

Don’t you just hate being proven you are an idiot?

No one hear saw Sheehan as anything but a grieving mother with some EXTREMELY important questions for the monekyboy in Crawford to answer. But you wingnuts defamed her and called her a “tool” of ther Democrats.

Man you are dispicable, hideous vermin.

Sheehan considers running for Senate agaisnt Feinstein?

I say, Good luck, and thanks for bringing important issues to the table!

68. Donnageddon spews:

oops, “No one hear” should read “No one here but the asswhipe Trools,”.

69. Donnageddon spews:

But (M)(m)ark(s), don’t let reality keep you from reading from yesterday’s RNC talking points.

I am sure they will pay you next time.

70. bill spews:

marks, I would agree with your assesment. It seems to me that in a headlong rush to protect young adults its important to make sure that we don’t trample their rights.

I mean whats next? People who join either the republican or democrat party all seem to have a brain defect that makes them accept anything said at face value no matter how ridiculous, do we make it illegal to discuss politics to protect them?

71. Seeking the truth spews:

Let’s see. At 18 your old enough to join the military and kill people, but not responsible enough to buy a lotto ticket.

Gimme a break.

72. marks spews:

bill @60

I mean whats next? People who join either the republican or democrat party all seem to have a brain defect that makes them accept anything said at face value no matter how ridiculous, do we make it illegal to discuss politics to protect them?

Shit! You have a point I can’t effectively refute…

73. thehim spews:

The science is clear: the earlier the age of exposure, the higher the incidence of addiction. It’s time to stop playing games with teen gambling, and raise our gambling age to 21.

And the winner is…

Online gambling!! How about a plan that works?

It’s the same dynamic as between an 18-20 year-old drinking in a supervised setting in a bar, or drinking vodka from a funnel in a fraternity basement.