Underage Gambling

There is a growing population of underage gamblers.

In 1991, it was estimated that there were at least one million compulsive teen-age gamblers in the United States of America. Currently, the legal age for gambling and alcohol consumption in Atlantic City and Nevada is twenty-one years.

Many teenagers enter the casinos illegally and receive all of the benefits such as drinks, food, and complimentary items (comps). It is the casino's responsibility to prevent these minors from entering.

The issue of underage gamblers is a concern because teens are creative in obtaining money to gamble. In the main, they are on limited budgets, hence they sometimes resort to dishonest means of acquiring funds.

Another concern about teens in casinos is they will have access to alcohol which is also illegal.

The problem of underage gambling has caused even the casinos in Atlantic City to be concerned.

Presently, the legal age of gambling in Atlantic City is twenty-one years. In the twelve casinos, more than 200,000 underage persons were stopped and escorted off the casino floors and premises in 1992.

As a result of this increasing problem, Harrah's casino initiated a program called Project 21 which discourages teenage gamblers.

The number of underage pathological gamblers is expected to increase even more in the future. The reason this number will increase is because of the video machines that are used in the casinos.

Several casino games now use video machines. These machines determine winners quickly, and are very similar to other video games underage gamblers have used legally.

As more casinos open up with these video games, it will be interesting to see how this impacts on the number of underage gamblers being stopped or barred from entering casinos.

Interestingly, just as there is an increase in the number of adult problem gamblers, there has also been an increase of underage gamblers.

This should not be surprising because teenagers now have more models and accessibility to casino gambling. Unfortunately, a significant number of the underage gamblers also have a gambling problem.

At the Windsor Casino in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, one of their major concern was keeping underage players out of the casino. They have addressed this by providing additional security at every entrance and on every floor of the casino.

A mandatory identification check is required by all persons to before entering the casino.

Casinos must operate within the realm of the law and protect the youth of society in order to continue to have a positive image within the community.

Most people do believe that casino gambling should be considered pure entertainment. However, there are a lot of social activities that invariably occur within this environment.