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Tribe Reduces Legal Gambling Age to 19

2 November 2010 by admin

OdawaExt_028Okay, so at what age are you an adult that is capable of making sound decisions for yourself? There is much debate about this across the world, particularly in the United States. The issue is likely to become a topic of discussion yet again, due to a Michigan tribe changing the legal gambling age at their casino from 21 to 19.

Psychologists, sociologists and lawmakers all have their own idea about how old someone has to be to give informed consent and make life-altering important decisions. Also, they don’t always agree. In the United States, prior to the passing of the Drinking Age Act of 1984, the legal minimum age to drink alcohol was either 18 or 21, depending on the state. At 18, however, you can buy cigarettes in most states (though in some states it is 19). The legal age of consent ranges from 16 to 18 in different states, yet in every state you can join the military at the age of 18. The legal gambling age is either 18 or 21 in states. So it seems that a resident of any state can go off to war at the tender age of 18, but they can’t have a beer before shipping off and in some states they can’t smoke a cigarette. Smoking may be hazardous to your health, but not as hazardous as IED’s in Baghdad.soldier-smoking

In Michigan, you must be 16 to legally consent to sexual activity, you must be 18 to buy or smoke cigarettes, you must be 18 to buy a lottery ticket, but you must be 21 to gamble at a casino. I guess the state of Michigan doesn’t consider playing the lottery to be gambling. You must be 21 to buy or drink alcohol.

Last month, Ken Harrington, Tribal Chairman of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, signed into law a bill that reduces the gambling age at Odawa Casino Resort from 21 to 19. Because the casino is on sovereign tribal territory, the gambling age law does not have to comply with Michigan law or federal laws. The Waganakising Odawak Gaming Regulatory Statute was passed by the Tribal Council on October 10 by a 6-1-2 vote.

Some tribal leaders expressed concern at allowing younger people into the casino, worrying about crime and alcohol abuse. However, those who passed the law are confident that their tightly regulated casino can keep 19 and 20-year-olds under control.Child-Playing-Poker-081510L

Gerald Whingwa, a council member who approved the law, said that although there were many factors that went into his decision, the biggest for him was a belief that the young members of the military should be able to gamble at their casino. Of course, that makes you wonder why the age is 19 instead of 18. “If we’re going to send them off to combat, we should treat them as adults when they return,” he said. “They should enjoy the benefits of being adults.”

Though the new gambling age had been signed into law, it is subject to change if the council finds that it is not beneficial to the tribe. Chingwa said that they will listen to the casino’s general manager and if he decides that the age reduction “might not be worth our efforts, it may not last.”

One Response to “Tribe Reduces Legal Gambling Age to 19”

  1. claire jacobs says:

    honestly I am against this law. People with an age of 19 is too young to gamble online. I guess they will face some addiction problems when it comes to this matter.