Deborah Fellela, a House representative of the state of Rhode Island, recently introduced a new piece of legislation which would see the legal gambling age of the state increase from the age of 18 to the age of 21. The proposed legislation would see anyone under the age of 21 banned from entering into a casino or slot parlor in the state.
Fellela commented on the new proposal in a recent press release by stating: “We allow our adults to handle alcohol at a minimum age of 21 years old because it comes with a lot of responsibility and potentially severe consequences when abused. Gambling comes with hefty consequences as well. A 21 year old theoretically is enrolled in an institute of higher education, is a member of the military, holds a job or has at least had a few years of real world experience. I think it’s reasonable for the General Assembly to look at raising the legal age…”
The new measure states that anyone who is caught gambling while under the age of twenty one will face a fine that will range in price from $100 to $500. The gambler would also have their license suspended for a period of six months. The measure also states that any parent or guardian of an underage gambler who allows the underage individual to gambler will also face a similar fine.
Fellela is almost guaranteed to see backlash with her attempt at raising the age of gamblers in the state. The main argument from those opposed to her measure will be the fact that at the age of 18, teenagers are essentially considered adults. Despite the fact that some may still be in high school, an 18 year old can vote and join the military. It will be interesting to see if this measure goes the distance or is shot down before it gets started.