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GUEST COMMENTARY: Time to re-examine gambling age

Timothy L. Carney the newly named National Executive Director of the not-for-profit organization, Teen Protection Alliance, Inc., is proud to introduce the “Change to 20” awareness program.

“Due to the proliferation of gambling in New York, we have seen the destruction and devastation problem gambling can have on someone,” Carney noted. “Our group is seeking to increase the age to gamble from 18 to 20 years old.”

During Travers Week in Saratoga Springs, the organization passed out more than 20,000 palm cards and stickers to bring the awareness to the teen gambling problem. Plus, it has a survey on its new website about the placement of the four new casinos across New York.

Gambling opportunities come in several forms in New York. Receipts from the New York State Lottery, for example, exceeded $9 billion in revenue last year. The Lottery Division spent more than $1 billion in marketing and advertising the lottery to our youth, saying “All you need is a dollar and a dream” and “You have to be in it to win it.”

State-sanctioned Indian casinos from western New York to New York City are thriving, while raking in billions of dollars a year. Now, voters recently approved casino gambling halls for the areas of the state without Indian casinos.

“When will this stop?” asks Carney. “We are asking the general public to show support by signing our online petition at www.ChangeTo20.org.”

Why Change to 20? Scientists have assessed that the brain of an individual does not fully develop until a person reaches the age of 20 or older. It is called “Neuromaturation.”

The organization’s Mission Statement says it best: “We want to enact an amendment to the U.S. Constitution making 20 years old the age of majority.”

Everyone born after Jan. 1, 2000, would be considered an adult or emancipated under Federal law on their 20th birthday. Everyone under 20 years old would be considered a child, minor or juvenile under this amendment.

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