A $500 fine is now in place for minors is caught on the gambling floor of an Iowa casino. The President, Iowa Gaming Association , Wes Ehrecke, hopes the fine will make people think before they try to sneak in and gamble. He says they hope it heightens awareness so that anyone under 21 will not try to get in and gamble.
Ehrecke says some people might not realize the legal gambling age, and hopefully the new fine will make them wait until they hit the age that makes them eligible to gamble. Casino operators pushed for the fine, as they were being punished by gambling regulators when a minor was caught, but the minor faced no consequences.
Ehrecke says the casinos can be fined up to $20,000 if a minor is caught gambling. "Certainly we take it very seriously, trying to check I-D’s of anyone that looks under 30. But sometimes in this age with false I-D’s and the like, people do get in," Ehrecke says. Ehrecke was asked if the $500 fine is enough to be a really deterrent.
Ehrecke says the gambling industry suggested a higher amount, but the legislature felt this amount was the right one to go with. "We think that’s at least a good start and hopefully this will be a good added deterrent," Ehrecke says. He says casinos now have signs posted pointing out the fine so people are aware. The new fine began on July 1st.