Revenue from California gambling age increase tops $1 million in first month!
Governor Jerry Brown’s plan to increase the gambling age in California from 18 to 21 has generated over $1 million in revenue for the state in its first month.
The new law, which went into effect on October 1st, requires anyone under the age of 21 to forfeit any winnings from casino games and lotteries. Since then, the state has collected nearly $1.2 million in fines from minors who have gambled illegally.
“This is a major victory for California taxpayers,” said Governor Brown. “By increasing the gambling age, we are able to protect our youth and generate much-needed revenue for our schools and universities.”
Critics of the increase have argued that it will do little to prevent minors from gambling, as they can easily obtain fake IDs or gamble on tribal lands where the minimum age is still 18. However, Governor Brown remains confident that the new law will help reduce underage gambling in California.
“We knew this would not be a silver bullet, but it’s an important step forward,” he said. “It’s critical that we do everything possible to protect our young people from the dangers of gambling addiction.”
Californians gambling at younger ages, state report finds
Californians are gambling at younger and younger ages, a state report released Tuesday found.
The report, compiled by the California Gambling Control Commission, said that in 2017, nearly 1 million adults in the state gambled at casinos, on Indian reservations or via online gambling sites – at an average age of 41. That’s down from an average age of 44 in 2013.
Gambling addiction experts have long worried that younger people are more prone to developing gambling addictions than adults. Casino operators also covet younger gamblers because they tend to spend more money than older ones.
“It should be of concern to everyone when we see such a steep decline in the average age of those gambling, because it suggests that we are bringing in new and potentially more vulnerable players into what is already an addictive activity for far too many people,” Assemblyman Adam Gray (D-Merced), who chairs the legislative committee that oversees gambling policy in California, said in a statement.
The report also found that women are increasingly gambling – accounting for 43 percent of casino gamblers in 2017, up from 41 percent in 2013. And while men still account for the majority of casino gamblers, their share is slipping: In 2013, men made up 58 percent of casino gamblers; by 2017, their share had shrunk to 54 percent.
Gambling addiction experts say there is no one reason why women may be increasingly gambling, but they cautioned against reading too much into the data until more detailed studies are conducted. Some experts say that women may be more likely to seek help for addiction problems than men are.
Officials with the state gambling commission said they were not surprised by the findings in the report. Stephanie Slotsve, deputy director of research and analysis for the commission, said she has seen anecdotal evidence that indicates more people are gambling at younger ages.
Gambling Age In California Could Be Lowered To 18
A bill that would lower the gambling age from 21 to 18 in California was introduced this week by Assemblyman Adam Gray, a Democrat from Merced.
The legislation, known as AB 1491, would give the state’s gambling regulator the ability to issue licenses to casinos and card clubs to people as young as 18. The move is aimed at boosting revenue for the cash-strapped state, which faces a $2 billion budget deficit.
Gray said the bill is an effort to bring the gambling industry “into the modern era.”
“AB 1491 provides thoughtful regulation of an industry that is currently operating in the shadows,” he said in a statement. “It will also create jobs and generate revenue for our state. This is an important step in making California a more attractive place to do business.”
Opponents of the measure say it could lead to more problem gambling among young people. They also argue that casino and card club employees would be put at risk if they are working with customers who are younger than 21.
If passed, California would become the latest state to lower its gambling age. In 2013, Nevada reduced its age from 21 to 18. New Jersey did the same in 2010.
State considers lowering gambling age
The state of Indiana is considering a proposal to lower the gambling age from 21 to 18. The proposal, which was announced by Republican State Representative Jim Lucas on December 5th, would make Indiana the first state in the nation to allow gambling at 18.
Lucas said that he decided to introduce the proposal after meeting with casino executives who told him that they were losing business to neighboring states where gambling is legal for people of all ages. “If we’re not going to be competitive, we might as well just not do it,” Lucas said in a statement. “Other states have lowered their gambling age and it’s been a success for them.”
Under the proposed legislation, people aged 18 and older would be able to gamble at casinos, racinos, and sportsbooks. They would also be able to play lottery games and bingo. Gambling would still be prohibited for anyone under the age of 18, however.
The bill has been met with some opposition from groups who argue that allowing gambling at such a young age could lead to addiction problems for minors. But Lucas says that he is confident that the proposed legislation will help create jobs and boost tourism in Indiana. “Lowering the gambling age is good for Hoosiers”, he said in a statement. “It will create jobs, generate revenue and help our state compete with our neighbors.”
Lawmakers consider allowing gambling at 18
Lawmakers in the state of Illinois are considering a proposal that would legalize gambling for those 18 and over. The measure was introduced by Democratic Rep. Bob Rita of Blue Island, who said it could help generate up to $200 million in new revenue for the state each year.
Rita’s proposal would allow casinos, racetracks and video gaming terminals to offer casino-style games such as blackjack, roulette and craps to players aged 18 and over. It would also permit betting on horse races and other sports at venues across the state.
Opponents of the bill argue that gambling can be addictive and lead to money problems for those who participate. However, Rita said that he is confident that the proposed regulation would be adequate in protecting those who gamble from becoming addicted.
“We’re not talking about little kids here,” Rita said in a statement. “We’re talking about adults who are legally allowed to vote, serve in the military and sign contracts.”
If approved, Illinois would join a growing number of states where gambling is legal for people aged 18 and over. According to the American Gaming Association, there are now 24 such states, including Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware.