Palm Beach Princess lowers age requirement

By John Bachman - bio | email
Posted by Rachel Leigh - email

RIVIERA BEACH, FL (WFLX) - A local casino boat tries to attract new business by lowering minimum age requirement. The Palm Beach Princess is now allowing 18 year olds aboard to gamble, but not everyone thinks it's a good idea.

"We decided that now is the right time, I think, to do it. We've always allowed families come aboard the ship," said Palm Beach Princess General Manager Greg Karan.

Until now, people under 21 had to be accompanied by a guardian. And they weren't allowed in the casino room on the ship. Karan says other gambling establishments, like the Palm Beach Kennel Club and Indian Casinos, all allow 18 year olds inside.

"That we want to open our venue to more customers and allow more people to enjoy our experience," said Karan.

But some of the existing customers, like Arlene Matthews, say one of the main reasons she comes to the Princess is to get a break from young adults.

"Yeah, I have a big problem with that," said Matthews. "I don't want to be around kids. When I want to do something out there, I want to be around grown people. Because kids don't have, you know, the respect for grown people," she said.

Mahmood Babkhani feels the same way, especially since, he says, he takes a trip on the Princess sometimes twice a week.

"After retirement, you have to enjoy the time," he said. But, he thinks, it will be harder to enjoy that time with 18 year olds gambling next to him.

Still, Greg Karan says, they will pull out all the stops to make sure everyone has a good time and follows the rules, especially when it comes to drinking.

"We're very strict in enforcing the liquor requirements. So we're definitely watching for not serving any underage minors," said Karan.

We also called Gamblers Anonymous to see if this is a concern to them. But we could not get a comment on this holiday.