Now the legislators want to go after underage gamblers

Washington state, which arguably has the most aggressive anti-online gambling laws of any US state, with provisions to punish online gamblers with the same severity as child molesters, is now working on additional penalties for underage gamblers, according to an Associated Press report.

The state can already fine casinos and card rooms caught dealing with gamblers under 18, but under new legislation, the minors themselves may be pursued in the future.

The state Senate approved a bill Friday that would make it a civil infraction similar to underage drinking. Violators would be fined $125, and lose any winnings if caught trying to gamble.

The bill's sponsor, Senator Jerome Delvin of Richland, told the News Tribune of Tacoma it would bring some awareness to juveniles who think gambling is permissible and fun. The bill is supported by the state Gambling Commission and non-tribal casinos. No one spoke against it last month at a hearing.

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