In Nevada Bill Floated to Lower Gambling Age to 18February 10, 2017 11:49 am
On January 27th, Assemblyman Jim Wheeler introduced Assembly Bill 86 to Nevada’s state legislature with the aim of getting the discussion going on whether to lower the legal age of gambling from 21 to 18. Following its introduction, the Assemblyman often seen wearing a white cowboy hat, said he would welcome any feedback on his proposal, stating:
“Well, the fact is in this business you actually have to put a bill out before you get comments on it.”
The current legal age of 21 has been in place since gambling was made legal in the Silver State back in 1931, but floating the idea of reducing the age limit is not new. In 2008, for instance, a similar proposal was discussed as a means of helping the state weather the Great Recession. That had no luck, though, and most analysts seem to believe AB86 is likely to suffer the same fate.
After all, the limit for most potentially harmful recreational activities in Nevada seems to be 21, including drinking alcohol, smoking marijuana, and, of course, gambling. Jim Wheeler has a different take on the situation, however, and as he explains:
“I think if you’re old enough to go to Afghanistan, or Yemen, or Iraq and fight – if you’re old enough to drink in some states – if you’re old enough to vote – then you ought to be old enough to gamble, if that’s what you want to do.”
If the gambling age limit was ever lowered, it does have the potential to cause confusion inside the casinos, as anyone inadvertently serving alcohol to someone under 21 could face up to 6 months behind bars and/or a fine of $1,000. As to why the piece of legislation has been introduced only recently, some experts believe it is related to Nevada’s gambling revenues in 2016 coming in at $11.3 billion, which although an improvement on the previous year, was still considerably lower than $12.8 billion the state generated in its peak year of 2007.