Trial balloon floated to drop Vegas gambling age to 18


Remember when you were 18? Were you good at handling money, shrewd at evaluating risk, able to keep your head while those around you were going crazy? Me neither. That's why I think the idea, floated by a lawyer for the gaming industry recently, to drop the legal gambling age to 18 in Las Vegas casinos is a big mistake.

The rationale is obvious; Vegas has been expanding right into the teeth of America's economic downturn, and it needs new punters with cash to spend and a poor grasp of probability, ones easily distracted by the hype and glitter. In tribal casinos in nearby California and Arizona, 18-year-olds are already allowed to squander their money gamble.

In my opinion, 18-year-olds are easy marks for the casinos, too easy; the phrase "taking candy from babies" comes to mind. How many earn enough money on their own to fund a gambling night, and how many would be playing with their parent's money? How many 18-year-olds could revel in the atmosphere of booze and sex without being tantalized by those adult recreations, as well?

If Vegas is desperate enough for money to look to the 18-21 crowd for help, it might want to think about canceling some of those expansion plans. The 18-21-year-old's have a lifetime yet to cultivate bad habits; don't rush them. Let them gamble on a college education, a career, marriage, children. Then, if they have anything left over, they can hit the tables in LV.