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Nevada to ponder lowering gambling age

Ben Blaschke
Written by Ben Blaschke

Nevada will consider lowering the state’s legal gambling age from 21 to 18 following the unexpected introduction of a new bill earlier this month.

Assembly Bill 86 was introduced by Assemblyman Jim Wheeler after a US veteran recently pointed out to him the contradiction of 18 being old enough to go to war but not old enough to legally gamble. It is the first time since 2008 that the issue will be officially debated by government.

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Wheeler’s primary goal is to simply open dialogue on the issue.

“I just wanted to have the conversation more than anything,” he said.

However, Chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission, Tony Alamo points to a range of problems lowering the gambling age would present – including the fact that the legal drinking age remains 21. It would mean casino workers having to regularly check the IDs of people playing slot machines and table games, while there is currently no requirement to ask those at the poker table for ID before serving them alcohol.

Alamo told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that the Bill could in fact be, “a solution for a problem that doesn’t exist.”

“The industry has not come to us with any wants for dropping this. Everyone’s happy with 21 years of age,” he said.