Pennsylvania Casinos Report Fewer Unattended Child Cases


Published on: August 25, 2023 at 01:48.

Last updated on August 25, 2023 at 02:18.

State officials say they continue to report cases of children being left unattended in vehicles outside gaming facilities at casinos in Pennsylvania, but rates are increasing.

Unsupervised kids in Pennsylvania casinos
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board says Hollywood Casino York is the place for an unattended child left in a vehicle. Pennsylvania casinos have struggled with such incidents in recent years, but a campaign is said to be working to reduce such incidents. (Picture: York Shipping)

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) reported four more incidents this week in which children were left in vehicles outside of casinos. The PGCB announced that four adults who left their children in their cars while gambling were placed on the state’s Mandatory Exclusion List.

The board reported that a man and a woman who left a nine-year-old boy unattended in a Wind Creek Bethlehem parking lot were blacklisted. Surveillance showed the couple gambling for more than 90 minutes while the child was sitting in the car.

A female client of Hollywood Casino York, one of the state’s so-called “mini-casinos”, has been placed on the Reluctant Exclusion List for gambling for nearly 40 minutes with her 13-year-old child sitting unattended in an open-air vehicle. open parking lot.

A male client who gambled for an hour and 44 minutes at Rivers Casino Pittsburgh and left a six-year-old boy in the casino parking lot was also excluded.

Campaign Print

PGCB launched the “Do Not Gamble With Children” campaign in November. The public service announcement warns the state of the dangers of leaving a child unattended. PSA also encourages gamblers to be wary of unattended children when parking.

In Pennsylvania, endangering a child’s welfare is a criminal offense that can result in penalties and fines. Anyone found to have left the child unattended in the vehicle to gamble faces permanent ban.

Persons on the PGCB Involuntary Exclusion List are prohibited from entering all physical casinos in the state. Persons on the Involuntary Exclusion List who enter or attempt to enter a casino may face trespassing charges.

It is unclear when the above-mentioned unattended child abuses occurred, as the PGCB has not detailed the exact dates of the incidents. PGCB spokesperson Doug Harbach said: Earlier this year, when an unsupervised child was reported, the state is conducting an investigation to determine the facts surrounding the matter.

Harbach explained that people placed on the Involuntary Exclusion List have the right to due process and can challenge their registration before a PGCB administrative judge. The timeline from the event to the state’s announcement of a subsequent ban can range from six months to a year; which means that the events reported this week likely occurred prior to the initiation of PSA.

PSA Success

From January to July, the PGCB says there were 126 cases of unattended children outside of casinos, a 36% drop. The goal of the campaign is, of course, 100% reduction.

“We encourage all casino staff and the public to say something when they see something,” says PGCB’s website, “Besides our public service announcement, we have prepared a wide variety of in-site materials for social media posts and casinos to help raise awareness of the issue. Together we can save our children from this kind of child abuse and neglect.”

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