Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Underage Gambling? I Have the Solution.

Since there’s a lot of speculation that soon (or very soon) some states may begin to offer online poker to their residents, I thought I’d discuss one of the critical issues (to some, at least) that pops up whenever anyone thinks about expanding any form of gambling.
How do we keep the kids from it?

I mentioned in my posts below that if by chance, some state approves online poker, sets it up, some well-known casinos start to run with it, they gets some players, all is fine for a while, and then…something BAD happens (as in something BAAAAAAAAD), and that would ruin it for everyone.  Perhaps no scandal could be more significant that an expose of underage gambling.  Well, I know how to keep the little buggers from causing such problems.

I learned of this trick a long time ago, when I was a freelance writer, and I was interviewing some Lottery Director somewhere (Midwest state, I think).  They were just about to “open” their first instant lottery ticket dispensers.  Since “anyone” could just walk up to the machine and buy a ticket, what procedures would be established to stop underage players from participating?  I had heard talk of TV monitors, extra staff to supervise, credit cards required, all sorts of configurations.  The Director I was interviewing pooh-poohed all these suggestions.

“Let ‘em buy the ticket, what do I care?” he said.

I was incredulous.  How could he condone allowing youngsters to play the lottery, to spend their hard-earned allowances in the machine all in hopes of getting a winning ticket to cash…

Cash it?” he exclaimed.  “Who said anything about letting the little bastards cash in their tickets?  THAT’S when we check their age, and then dash their foolish dreams.”

And that’s the key for online poker.  Let anyone play, but when it comes time to actually draw money OUT of the system, well…you better be able to prove yourself now, y’hear?  Once word gets out that online poker is like the Hotel California, no 15-year-old will think twice about leaving the comforts of Zynga to try to thwart the legit poker rooms. 

Go away son, ya bother me…

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