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Reader Polls Feedback -
Reader Poll for March 15, through March 24, 2004


It appears that some special interest groups are looking into lowering the minimum age of gambling to 18, especially since some online casinos and foreign countries allow under 21 age persons to gamble. Do you think the minimum age to gamble in Las Vegas should remain at 21 or be changed to what age? WHY?

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Reader Poll Replies:

*  I think you should leave the minimum age at 21.  There are enough crazy people running around Las Vegas ruining their life by gambling their pay checks, why start out teenagers learning this habit.  Sue Ann Phillips  TX

*  I believe the minimum age for gambling should remain 21.  The drinking age is 21, and with the free drinks at the casinos this would be a nightmare to monitor.  Also, many 18 year olds living in Las Vegas are high school students.  This would be unfair to their education, and their wallets.  I believe we need to maintain the legal limit to 21 to give teens a chance to get their education and their maturity in order.  Thanks   Ellen O'Koon

*  Yes, the gambling age should be lowered to 18. If a person is able to be shipped off to Iraq when he or she is not a minute over 18 he or she should be able to pull a slot lever or throw some dice. These people are off fighting and dying for freedoms of other people when they are denied some simple freedoms back home.  Justin Hammond

*  Young people can be trusted to go to war and defend our country at age 18.  If they are mature enough to serve in the military, they have the maturity to decide how to spend their discretionary funds.  We should have one age limit to determine when a person can be considered of age to make decisions pertaining to their lives and how they will live it.  The gambling age should be 18.  James H. D. Allen, Retired U. S. Army

*  I feel the minimum age to gamble in Las Vegas should remain at 21. The motto "if it isn't broke, don't fix it "comes to my mind. I feel 18 is too young and a certain level of maturity should be acquired when drinking and gambling. At some casinos there are free drinks given out and someone so young might not know how to handle it and either go overboard with the gambling or their behavior.  Not to say that there aren't any mature 18 year olds but they come a dime a dozen. A 21 year old would have experienced the world a little bit and know that there are boundaries because I feel that he/she will have learned from past mistakes.  An example is an 18 year old making the transgression from high school to college. He/she has good credit and therefore gets approved for multiple credit cards (On campus you get approached at all angles).  That 18 year old goes overboard and falls into credit card debt because of lack of knowledge and experience.  At 21 that person can only be filled with the regret of not knowing any better. I am pretty sure they will think about the responsibilities that lie ahead and be more wiser with their decisions.  Lato708

*  I do not think that the gambling age should be lowered to 18.  Kids are wanting to grow up too fast and they should at least have something to look forward to such as their 21st birthday, to legally drink, vote, and gamble.  Keeping children as young as you can these days is an ever increasing problem for everyone, and with more teenagers getting arrested for drug related crimes, gambling will just be another way of sending them to jail before they can handle adult things.  Janice MacFarlane

*  I believe that they should be able to change the law to be able to gamble at 18. If it can be done on line and they are already doing it then what is the harm in making it accessible in person. Also once you turn 18 you are responsible for yourself if you are able to move out on your own then you should be able to go to Las Vegas and bet if you would like to.  Rick Shippy

*  I think the minimum age should remain at 21. Gambling requires a certain level of maturity and responsibility, and I seriously doubt an 18 year old who just got out of high school will be able to handle the gaming responsibly. Let's not forget the casinos have alcohol all over the place, and we have learned that teen drinkers get out of control to the point of DUI or worse. If they lower the gambling age, it would be very hard to monitor and control underage drinking.  Randy Adams

The minimum should remain at 21. Even though some opinions have expressed that one is susceptible to be enlisted into the military to live or die. The gambling world to a majority of people is just that. Trying one's luck to gain monetary achievements and enjoyment. To other's it can be an atmosphere of misery. Clutching at straws at all costs leading to irrational behavior that wouldn't normally exist. Ruining of a person's life and family. At 18, I don't believe that the maturity, knowledge and intelligence has been gained to participate rationally. There will be an adequate amount of time to gamble after the age of 21 is reached.  Chuck from Arizona

*  I believe the age for gambling should remain at 21 years old. At 18, our young adults should continue furthering their education. These days, if you don't at least have a associate degree, you are not going very far in corporate America. I'm not saying you can not be self employed or get a job and still make it. But, there is no reason to lower the age from 21 to 18 years old. With gambling, there is a chance of drinking, debt and addiction. This is my opinion,  Carmen E Gravney-Baptiste




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