Board Takes Action On Adults Who Gambled At Casinos While Leaving Children Unattended
HARRISBURG, PA: The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (“PGCB”) today banned four adults from entering Commonwealth casinos through placement on the PGCB Involuntary Exclusion List after leaving children unattended in order to gamble in casinos, while also denying requests by two other adults to be removed from that list who had similarly left children unattended.
The four new actions to place the four adults on the PGCB’s Involuntary Exclusion List were the result of approvals of petitions presented by the agency’s Office of Enforcement Counsel (“OEC”) and involved 9 children:
- A male patron was placed on the Involuntary Exclusion List after leaving five children, including an infant, along with 1-, 9-, 10- and 14-year-olds in the food court of Valley Forge Casino Resort. The children were left unattended for an hour and 12 minutes while the adult wagered at slot machines;
- A male patron was placed on the Involuntary Exclusion List after leaving a 12-year-old unattended in a vehicle in the parking lot of Valley Forge Casino Resort. The child was left unattended for 5 minutes while the adult wagered at the sportsbook;
- A male patron was placed on the Involuntary Exclusion List after leaving a 13-year-old unattended in a vehicle in the Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino and Racetrack’s parking garage. After the adult male attempted to enter the casino with the child and claimed he was his brother, the child returned to the vehicle while the adult entered the casino and wagered at the sportsbook. The child was left unattended for 15 minutes; and,
- A female patron was placed on the Involuntary Exclusion List after leaving a 2-year-old and a 14-year-old unattended in a vehicle in the parking lot of Mohegan Pennsylvania Casino. The children were left unattended for over two hours while the adult gambled at slot machines.
Additionally, the Board denied requests to be removed from the Involuntary Exclusion List by two female adults who were placed on the list in 2020 for separate incidents involving a total of 3 children left unattended to gamble in casinos.
The Board’s actions serve as a reminder that adults are prohibited from leaving minors unattended in the parking lot or garage, a hotel, or other venues at a casino since it creates a potentially unsafe and dangerous environment for the children. Leaving minors unattended at a Pennsylvania casino also subjects the offending adult to criminal prosecution in addition to exclusion from all Pennsylvania casinos. The PGCB is reporting that during 2022 it identified 303 incidents of adults leaving children unattended to gamble at Pennsylvania casinos involving 486 minors.
For more information on this issue and to assist in bring awareness of this problem, you can visit the PGCB’s special “Don’t Gamble with Kids” campaign website at this link.
The next meeting of the Board is scheduled for 10:00 a.m., Wednesday, February 22, 2023 in the Board’s Public Hearing Room located on the second floor of the Strawberry Square Complex in Harrisburg.
About the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is tasked to oversee all aspects of gambling involving 16 land-based casinos, online casino games, retail and online sports wagering, and Video Gaming Terminals (VGTs) at qualified truck stops, along with the regulation of online fantasy sports contests.
The land-based casino industry in Pennsylvania consists of six racetrack (Category 1) casinos, five stand-alone (Category 2) casinos, two resort (Category 3) casinos and three mini-casinos (Category 4). Casino expansion will continue over the next couple of years with the anticipated openings of up to two additional Category 4 casinos. A significant job generator in the Commonwealth, casinos and the other types of Board-regulated gaming generated over $2 billion in tax revenue in 2022.
Additional information about both the PGCB’s gaming regulatory efforts and Pennsylvania’s gaming industry can be found at gamingcontrolboard.pa.gov. You can also follow the agency on Twitter by choosing @PAGamingControl.