During a public meeting in July, The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has taken stern measures against individuals who left children unattended while they engaged in gambling activities at casinos. In a recent announcement, the board revealed that seven people have been banned from all Pennsylvania casinos due to their alleged negligence, leaving a total of nine children unattended.
Disturbing Cases of Child Neglect at Pennsylvania Casinos Lead to Bans and Criminal Charges
Shockingly, some children were left in vehicles in casino parking garages, while others were left unattended in hotel rooms. One particularly alarming case saw a male patron leave a 9-year-old child unattended in a hotel room at Mt. Airy Casino Resort for a staggering total of 7 hours and 48 minutes over a 2 ½ day period in order to gamble.
This pattern of neglectful behavior prompted the PGCB to place these individuals on the Involuntary Exclusion List, effectively banning them from all casinos in the state. The board emphasized the importance of not leaving minors unattended in such environments as it creates a potentially unsafe and dangerous situation for the children. It is also important to note that leaving minors unattended at a Pennsylvania casino can lead to criminal charges for the responsible adult, adding more gravity to the issue.
The recent incidents highlighted by the board are not isolated cases. Since the beginning of 2022 until June 2023, the board has identified a staggering 397 incidents involving adults leaving children unattended at Pennsylvania casinos, affecting a total of 633 minors. One such example was a couple that left their children in a hotel room while they were in the adjoining casino gambling. Four more people were banned in January for similar reasons. The authorities are actively working to reduce such occurrences and raise awareness of the risks involved.
Pennsylvania Casinos Face Hefty Fines for Allowing Minors on Gaming Floors
Alongside the bans, the board also imposed $67,500 in fines as part of consent agreements with several operators. Downs Racing, L.P., operator of Mohegan Pennsylvania, faced a hefty $50,000 fine for allowing individuals under the age of 21 to access the gaming floor multiple times for gambling and alcohol consumption. Rivers Casino Pittsburgh operator Holdings Acquisition, L.P., was fined $10,000 for allowing an underage individual access to the gaming floor and Rivers Casino Philadelphia operator Sugarhouse HSP Gaming, L.P., received a $7,500 fine for employing an untrained roulette dealer.
Last year the PGCB launched the “Don’t Gamble with Kids” campaign ahead of Thanksgiving, warning casino patrons not to bring their children and leave them unattended while visiting casinos. The campaign aimed to raise awareness and address the alarming number of cases where adults left their children unsupervised in casino hotel rooms or parked cars, leading to potential lifetime bans from casinos and possible criminal charges.