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Costa Slams Proposal to Change Gambling Age to 21

Proposed legislation would redefine the state's gambling age.

The following is a press release from the Rhode Island House Minority Office.

State Representative Doreen Costa (R - North Kingstown, Exeter) criticized proposed legislation that would increase the legal age for gambling to 21.

The proposed legislation, H-5032, would impose a fine of between $100 and $500 and suspend a driver’s license for six months for anyone under 21 found gambling or on the premises of a casino, slot parlor or facility where pari-mutual betting is permitted. Current law establishes 18 as the legal age for gambling in the state. 

“This legislation represents a giant step backward for young people in Rhode Island,” said Costa. “Young adults can vote at age 18 and serve in the military at 18, but now we want to prohibit them from participating alongside other adults in legal gambling venues.

She added, “This is another horrible example of the encroachment of the Nanny State, in which we continue to over-dictate what adults can legally do, when they can do it, where they can do it and under what conditions they can do it. This is a huge and irresponsible overreach, and I plan to vigorously oppose this legislation in hearings before the Judiciary Committee."

Costa also pointed out that the legislation would also penalize parents or others over 21 who allow an underage person to gamble. Their penalty would be a disorderly conduct offense, a fine of $100 to 500, and suspension of driving privileges for a six-month period.


NK Parent February 08, 2013 at 03:21 PM
And yet Costa doesn't mention anything about the drinking age being 21. I don't see a big deal with correlating the legal gambling age to the legal drinking age but if you're going to make all the above complaints about what constitutes an "adult" you've got to argue that the drinking age should be reduced to 18 too. So, can we assume that Costa feels the drinking age should be reduced to 18? I'm not sure how she could argue against that without being a total hypocrit.
Politics Sheriff of NK February 08, 2013 at 04:20 PM
Always stretching things to attack doreen huh? You must be in the anti-Doreen faction of the NKGOP, you know, the Halley-lovers, windmill crew, violate the comprehensive plan for more development gang of NKGOP. Its a tired old song and people are onto you.
Politics Sheriff of NK February 08, 2013 at 04:25 PM
The drinking age is 21 because of biological/developmental reasons. Young people are simply different at younger than 21 and alcohol can impair them more. But you dont need to ban everything for those under 21. I dont see the merits of an expensive law to stop 18-21 year olds from playing a slot machine. I agree with Doreen on those grounds.
Joe B. February 08, 2013 at 07:31 PM
What a shame. Hey Doreen, stop taking up space and get a bill passed. By the way, you forgot to mention that your bill in front of the Labor Committee this past week was "held for further study". You know what that means: DEAD IN THE WATER". Great for us constituents to know you can get something passed for us up there. By the way, enjoy the next 20 months, they will go by fast, and then perhaps we can get someone you can get a bill passed for us.
Joe B. February 08, 2013 at 07:41 PM
Hey Doreen, you failed to mention your bill before the House Labor Committee this past week that was held for further study. Another failed attempt to get something, anything, done.
Politics Sheriff of NK February 09, 2013 at 12:56 AM
Joe B keep slinging your partisan vitriol, it will only help re-elect her next time. Thank You.
Govstench February 09, 2013 at 10:31 AM
I would ask the bigger question of what the gambling age has to do with a drivers license? This is more of the worthless legislation that these people keep generating. How about the economy? Where are the jobs? Let's get focused on what is really needed in this state instead of submitting a bill to get your name in the media!
Doreen Costa February 09, 2013 at 06:03 PM
Hi all, first of all I hope you are all safe from the storm. If anyone of you needs help to make some calls for you please call me even the one's here who like to slam me. That's what I do. I always stay positive no matter what. Life is to short and we have to treasure everyday we have. You can be 18 to go into the Casino and enjoy dinner, lunch and the shows. This bill would kill jobs and take money out working families. We can't not afford anymore business regulations. To Joe B and NK Parent I see that you always like to write much negative here but beyond that if you need anything due to the weather I am here to help as much as I can. That's what I do as a Rep. I see beyond the negativity and help anyone. You all stay safe and stay warm. God Bless Doreen
Doreen Costa February 09, 2013 at 06:06 PM
NK parent. I said nothing here that says the drinking age should be reduced to 18. This bill would stop anyone 18 from going into the Casino to see a show or have dinner. A job killer Doreen
observer February 10, 2013 at 02:56 PM
@Govstench--absolute foolishness to think that something of substance that would benefit the whole state would ever come out of the legislature. Just look at the what the priority items are for these reps. The state of RI will never change. It is still sliding backwards and after all the major scandals and obvious ripoffs nobody really gives a hoot. They seem to take pride in being at or near the bottom of many studies. The only solution is to get out and find a state where there are jobs and where the people do have some pride in what is right and wrong. Anyone who thinks that it is ever going to get better here is whistling as they walk by the graveyard. It really is very sad..
Politics Sheriff of NK February 10, 2013 at 05:10 PM
observer, many people DO "give a hoot". They are having an impact as a result. That made RI the ONLY state to lose population in the recent census!
observer February 10, 2013 at 11:59 PM
@Politics--Vermont also lost population. You are only echoing what I have said just from a different angle. Everyone who remains in RI is a passenger on the good ship RI Titanic. The reality is and has always been that this state is going nowhere due to its malaise! It is was it is and there is no changing reality.

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