The State Racing and Gaming Commission fined Harvey’s Casino in Council Bluffs 10-thousand dollars today for allowing a 19-year-old to gamble. The fine sparked a debate over the punishment for underage gamblers. Harvey’s General Manager Vern Welch says the man got into the casino twice in February. Welch says they’ve spent thousands of dollars for training and systems to help guards identify minors. Welch says the two guards who allowed the man into the casino paid the price with their jobs. He says underage gamblers, though, aren’t paying enough for their crime.He says the underage gambler pays a 100-dollar fine, and Welch says they’ve heard minors describing the fine as a joke. Welch says the casino is looking for ways to increase the punishment of underage gamblers.Racing and Gaming Commissioner Jim Hassenfritz says penalties for underage gambling should also include going to anti-gambling meetings, and meetings with parole officers. Hassenfritz says those things worked when a member of his family was charged with underage drinking. Hassenfritz says other penalties are worse for parents, because they end up paying fines and driving kids around when the kids lose their driver’s license.
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