FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 13th, 2021

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA

Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board
P.O. Box 69060
Harrisburg, PA 17106-9060

CONTACT

Doug Harbach or Richard McGarvey (717) 346-8321

PA Gaming Control Board Takes Actions On Underage Gaming And Unattended Kids Left In Cars

HARRISBURG, PA:  The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (Board) today, in its first in-person public meeting since March 2020, approved actions related to the permitting of underage gambling at a casino and children left by parents unattended in vehicles in the parking lot of a casino.

In the first matter, the Board today approved a $10,000 fine against Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment, Inc., operator of Parx Casino in Bucks County for permitting an 18-year-old to enter the gaming floor and gamble on slot machines. The terms of the fine were included in a consent agreement between the agency’s Office of Enforcement Counsel and the license holder, then approved by the Board.

The Gaming Act makes it unlawful for an individual under 21 years of age to enter and remain in any area of a licensed facility where slot machines are operated or the play of table games is conducted, and to wager, play or attempt to play a slot machine or table game at a licensed facility.

The Board was also presented today with three cases involving unattended kids left in cars parked in a parking garage or a surface parking lot at a casino in Pennsylvania. In each case, the parent or guardian left a young child or children with no adult supervision so they could go into a casino to gamble on slots, gamble at a table game, buy or redeem a sports bet, or meet up with acquaintances who are gambling.

In each instance, the Board termed this behavior “irresponsible”, resulting in the approval of the placement of three offending adults on the PGCB’s Involuntary Exclusion List that prohibits individuals from entering and gambling at all Pennsylvania casinos. Additionally, offenders may also face criminal prosecution for endangering the welfare of a child or children.

Since 2011, 129 individuals have been placed on the Involuntary Exclusion list for this type of incident.

DETAILS OF INCIDENTS

  • One parent was involuntarily excluded for leaving his 11-year-old child in a vehicle in the parking lot of a casino so that he could go inside to redeem a sportsbook ticket;
  • The parent of 8- and 5-year-old boys was involuntarily excluded after leaving them in his vehicle to place a bet at the casino sportsbook and play at a craps table; and,
  •  A third individual was placed on the Involuntary Exclusion List for leaving four children aged 13, 13, 10 and 2 in her vehicle so she could enter the casino to watch an acquaintance play at a craps table.

In making these decisions regarding the three adults, the Board is reminding the gambling public to not leave children unattended in the parking lot or garage, a hotel, or other venue at a casino, not only because of the possible exclusion from all Pennsylvania casinos and prosecution, but more importantly due to the possible safety hazard to the child.

The next meeting of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is scheduled for 10:00 a.m., Wednesday, November 10, 2021 in the PGCB’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 at 15 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 two mini-casinos (Category 4).  Casino expansion will continue over the next couple of years with the anticipated openings of up to three additional Category 4 casinos. A significant job generator in the Commonwealth, casinos and the other types of Board-regulated gaming is expected to generate over $1.8 billion in tax revenue during the 2021/2022 State Fiscal Year.

Additional information about both the PGCB’s gaming regulatory efforts and Pennsylvania’s gaming industry can be found at https://gamingcontrolboard.pa.gov/  . You can also follow the agency on Twitter by choosing @PAGamingControl.