Gamblers Must Be 21

Published on: June 3, 2008 

Teenagers and young adults – read anyone between 18 and 21 – are not happy.  Up until June 1, they were able to go into the Northern Quest casino in the city and play the games, but now they are no longer able to do that.  Casinos are considered adult fun establishments and even though Northern Quest is a very popular hang out with the local teenager population, they are going to have to find someplace else to hang out.

According to one teen who frequented the casino, “We usually play the slots and blackjack and kind of go around, just the atmosphere is fun.”  This same teen, 18 to be exact, even admitted that he went to Northern Quest with the sole purpose of gambling.  But because of the young population aimlessly wandering around the casino, the management decided to raise the minimum age to enter the casino to 21.   

Many of the young adults are disappointed that they can no longer enter the casino, stating that it was something to do in the small town of Medical Lake, a Spokane suburb and home to Northern Quest.  They have been enjoying this amenity for the last eight years, ever since the casino opened in 2000.  Many of the local teenagers have seen being able to go to the casino and gamble on their 18th birthday as a rite of passage.

A statement released by the casino’s public relations division claimed that the casino was attempting to bring their gaming policies back into line with what is considered the national standard.  They are attempting to once again attract and cater to the older clientele, people who are not too thrilled with the younger crowd just hanging around.  The newly posted sign at the casino’s entrance states that 18 to 20 year olds are prohibited from gambling in any way shape or form, but are still welcome to use the restaurants and entertainment facilities.

Other casinos in the Spokane area are planning to continue to allow younger players to continue gambling at their establishments.  They currently do not have any plans to change their policy to reflect the same rules Northern Quest is now using.  For the most part, the 18 to 20 crowd is accepting the new rules as well as to be expected.  Some of them are actually willing to wait until they are 21 to play, understanding the reasoning behind the decision and willing to be patient for a few more years before celebrating their own rite of passage.

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