Meskwaki tribe approves poker for 18-year-olds

Mike McDonald
Timex: Old enough to play, according to Meskwaki Tribal Council.

Eighteen is old enough to play poker, according to Iowa's Meskwaki tribe.

Continuing a long tradition of relative independence from government dictates, the Meskwaki Tribal Council recently approved a plan that would allow players aged 18-21 to play card games such as No-Limit Hold'em.

In a story with the Associated Press, tribal spokesman Larry Lasley Jr. explained that the tribe can make the change because the players, not the casino, offer the game's jackpot when they buy in. In other table games, such as blackjack or pai gow, the casino has its own dealer and a vested interest in the outcome.

Lasley went on to tell AP that the tribe won't have a financial stake in the under-21 game but it is hoping it will attract more gamblers to the casino.

Most states in the U.S. require poker players to be at least 21 before they can buy in and the World Series of Poker has a strict 21+ rule, as with all Las Vegas casinos. Canada allows players aged 19+ while most of Europe permits 18-year-olds to play poker for money.

Young players have a proven success rate on the poker tournament circuit. Annette Obrestad was barely 19 when she won the World Series of Poker Europe Main Event, while Mike McDonald was still 18 when he won EPT Dortmund.

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