From the Times Ledger:
After bills to raise the gambling age to 21 stalled in state Legislature committees last year, Ozone Park lawmakers hope the measures’ odds will shake out better this session.
State Sen. Joseph Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach) and state Assemblyman Phillip Goldfeder (D-Rockaway Beach) introduced bills in January that would prohibit anyone under 21 from gambling in New York, noting concerns about the Resorts World racino in South Ozone Park.
Addabbo said that in the last session the Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee was preoccupied with the recently passed referendum to authorize up to seven full-scale casinos in New York. He said now that there will be more casinos to regulate, he wants to convince colleagues that gambling poses a danger for 18- to-20-year-olds currently allowed in racetrack casinos, often called racinos.
“I am optimistic that we can pass it. It has no real price tag. It doesn’t cost the state any money. There’s no real fiscal impact,” Addabbo said. “The bottom line is, why not?”
Goldfeder’s bill has attracted three co-sponsors — Assemblymen Tom Abinanti (D-Greenburgh), Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Brooklyn) and Michael Miller (D-Woodhaven) — and moved to the Committee on Racing and Wagering. Sen. Liz Krueger (D-Manhattan) has signed on as a co-sponsor of Addabbo’s bill, which is in the Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee.
Because altering the gambling age would require an amendment to the state constitution, it would require both the Assembly and State to twice approve the legislation and then voters’ approval via a ballot referendum.
Goldfeder said he was concerned by the prevalence of younger gamblers at Resorts World, which he said can make it difficult for the racino to prevent underage drinking.
Addabbo said Resorts World has had issues with underage gamblers and its proximity to John Adams High School is distressing.
Both lawmakers emphasized that other major gambling establishments like Atlantic City are not open to those under 21.
“The gambling addition, once it is an addition, knows no boundaries, certainly not age,” Addabbo said. “There’s a big difference between 18 and 21 in terms of maturity.”
Did he say "addition" or "addiction?" I'm hoping the latter.
Yes, there is a difference in terms of maturity. So why do we allow 18-20 year olds join the military and potentially get themselves killed? Why do we have kids as young as 15 being charged as adults? But they can't make the decision to drink, smoke or gamble? Hmmm...