When you are growing up there are certain milestones you are counting down to. There seems to be something to celebrate every few years: officially becoming a teenager at thirteen, sweet sixteen parties, bar mitzvahs, and being able to vote when you turn eighteen, which for me was a big one. After that my total focus was on the number twenty-one.
As someone with a December birthday I was always the youngest in my class but this hurt the most the year I turned twenty-one. I was a senior in college and LITERALLY the last person I knew to finally be able to legally drink. A few sips of alcohol might have crossed my lips before that day but it never tasted quite as sweet as it when it was officially legal. I never grew tired of getting carded although sadly that doesn’t happen as often as I would like.
Besides all of the legal drinking and clubbing you can do at twenty-one there is one other perk- gambling. In the U.S. gambling age is you guessed it- twenty-one. That is the magic number. Gambling wasn’t something I ever really cared about, it was just another advantage to being my favorite age. Damn I really had a great time that year.
“Each state is free to regulate or prohibit the practice within its borders. If state-run lotteries are included, almost every state can be said to allow some form of gambling.”
When it comes to gambling in the United States there are a hodgepodge of rules. It is a right that every state decides for itself. I feel like going forward there will be an increasing number of states trying to pass regulations in favor of gambling if for no other reason than the high revenues it will surely bring in.
That is how Resorts World Casino came about.
This casino opened in Queens in October 2011. The New York State Gambling Commission voted to pass legislation had granted the ability way back in 2001 but there was a lag due to deadlines and construction issues, etc. Estimated revenue back in 2011 was a rate of one and a half million A DAY. I wish I could open my own private casino.
Yonkers Raceway, another gambling Mecca in New York, opened originally in 1899 as a racing track. There were countless renovations and in October 2006 they saw their first gaming machines installed.
I have never been to either of these facilities and odds are I never will. Like I said I am not a gambler.
I believe I went to Atlantic City only once and that was many moons ago. I never had a desire to go back. I mean its New Jersey! But my parents and their peers seem to love it. Maybe it is because they have been going for so long and until recently New York City didn’t have any local options. Gambling for us are scratch offs. God I hate those things too. I would rather have the cash even if it were only a dollar.
As a New Yorker I would prefer to gamble in Connecticut if I had to simply because Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun are entertainment centers unlike anything else I have seen. You can shop, eat, sightsee, attends shows, the list goes on and on. It is like being on vacation even if you are only there for a day.
There is a Harrah’s Casino in the heart of the French Quarter in my beloved New Orleans but despite visiting that city three or four times I haven’t ventured there either.
I did however make my way to Las Vegas once back in 2007 for my birthday weekend. I didn’t gamble at all until my last day there and after thirty minutes I was over it. I was so busy there I had to remember to gamble even though I was walking through casinos all day long. That is how much I loathe gambling. I will end up back in Vegas one of these days because I need to see Britney Spears’ new concert and perhaps another Cirque de Soleil show, those are epic.
I know Vegas is commonly called Sin City and for good reason. Besides legal gambling, prostitution is also allowed. What an interesting town.
I have decided to look at the history of gambling in this country to see how we arrived here, in 2016, only allowed to play where they say.
To my shock gambling in America can be traced back to Native Americans (no surprise there as many of our current casinos are on Indian land with money going to that tribe). The Indians gambled for food and necessities.
“In 1988, the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act allowed tribes to offer gaming on their reservations in order to generate revenue.”
Even after the New World began inhabited but Europeans gambling in town halls as a means of recreation remained. Nevada was the first state to legislate this past time in 1933. New Jersey wouldn’t follow suit until 1977.
On the U.S. Guide to Gambling website there is a chart that displays cities and counties in each state that offers legal gambling and at what age you have to be to enter those casinos. It is all very interesting.
According to this site:
“A 2005 study showed that 85% of adults in the United States gambled at least once in their lives, and 80% of them had gambled in the past year.”
The research on this topic is endless. I could easily write a dissertation on this topic but I won’t. For more information you can start with the links below. I wish you luck, no pun intended.
I haven’t gambled more than twenty dollars in years. Even then it wasn’t in consecutive years. Clearly I am in a league of my own. My vices are travel, books, and coffee mostly. Ok the occasional pizza or two, too.
Online gaming/gambling and sports betting remain the two types that remain illegal in the U.S.
Online gambling transactions are money and goodies being made on off shore accounts. The regulation doesn’t yet exist where money externally could coexist within our country’s laws.
From the New York Times, August 10, 2016:
“The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, known as PASPA, prohibits states from authorizing, sponsoring, operating or licensing sports betting.”
“By a 10-to-2 vote, the court invalidated a law passed by New Jersey in 2014 that would have allowed sports betting at its casinos and racetracks and provided a desperately needed boost to the state’s revenue as once-prosperous Atlantic City continues to collapse.”
It is the hope of the legislators that by keeping sporting betting illegal it somehow protects the integrity of the games as well as the players.
All that does is keep the money in the hands of the bookies and secret OTB wages, both of which you know will continue to exist.
It is just like Prohibition, just because its illegal doesn’t make it any less relevant. In fact it seems to have the reverse effect.
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