The Rise of Teenage Gambling

A distressing number of youths are bitten early by the betting bug

Amid the throngs of gamblers in Atlantic City, Debra Kim Cohen stood out. A former beauty queen, she dropped thousands of dollars at blackjack tables. Casino managers acknowledged her lavish patronage by plying her with the perks commonly accorded VIP customers: free limo rides, meals, even rooms. Cohen, after all, was a high roller. It apparently did not disturb casino officials that she was also a teenager and -- at 17 -- four years shy of New Jersey's legal gambling age.

Finally, Kim's father, Atlantic City detective Leonard Cohen, complained to authorities. Kim was subsequently barred from casinos. But by then...

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