The head of the Iowa Gambling Treatment Program fears younger Iowans will get hooked on the habit. The Winnebago tribe plans to lower the age limit from 21 to 18 to gamble in its western Iowa casino. Treatment Program executive officer Frank Biagioli predicts gambling problems will now start hitting teens.Through the Iowa Department of Public Health, the program sponsors the 800-BETS-OFF hotline to help gamblers and their families. Biagioli envisions another problem stemming from the dropping of the age from 21 to 18 — security in gambling halls.Another fear, Biagioli says other Indian tribes operating gambling facilities in Iowa may consider dropping their age requirements now too, depending on the agreements they’ve signed with the state.Due to the Winnebago’s status as a sovereign nation, Biagioli says the state of Iowa likely cannot force the tribe to change its plans.
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