Increase penalties for gambling youths

When you see all those engaging commercials promoting gambling casinos in Pennsylvania, you don’t see 14-year-old children plying a roulette wheel or a slot machine.

But it happens.

Way too often.

Since 2008, the state Gaming Control Board has fined casinos more than $1.6 million for 127 incidents of underage gambling.

These numbers come despite the fact that board members of casinos routinely add underage gamblers to their exclusion lists, and now employ a battery of sophisticated ID tests to prevent their presence at gambling sites.

But judging from the numbers, the casinos need to do more.

Robert DeSalvio, president of the Sands Casino-Resort in Bethlehem, wants to do more.

Underage gamblers receive a citation and fine of as much as $1,000.

DeSalvio wants to up the ante and is suggesting taking away their driver’s licenses for a year.

We are on board with that.

Gambling starts out as fun and can become a problem for adults.

When the introduction starts with children, the future outcome is even more scary.

A fine just isn’t enough in our view for underage gambling.

– Williamsport Sun-Gazette