COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board
Commonwealth Tower, Strawberry Square
303 Walnut Street, 5th Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17101
Doug Harbach or Richard McGarvey (717) 346-8321
Boyd Gaming Outlines To PA Gaming Control Board An Unattended Child Mitigation Plan For Valley Forge Casino Resort
Board also places two more parents on involuntary self-exclusion list
HARRISBURG, PA: Representatives of Boyd Gaming Corporation, owner of the Valley Forge Casino Resort in Montgomery County, today outlined to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (Board) at its public meeting a six-part mitigation plan to enhance the facility’s efforts to deter and detect instances in which a parent or guardian leaves a child unattended at its property.
The mitigation plan was the result of work between Boyd Gaming and the PGCB’s Office of Enforcement Counsel.
Boyd Gaming’s plan is in response to increased concern over the past year by the Board of the number of incidents reported of children being left unattended in vehicles, hotel rooms or other locations in or near casinos throughout the Commonwealth. Boyd Gaming proactively reviewed unattended minor incidents at Valley Forge over the last four years to develop its mitigation plan, some of the steps which have already been implemented. Boyd Gaming told the Board that it has also allocated financial resources totaling $776,000 toward this plan.
Gaming Control Board Executive Director Kevin O’Toole said Boyd Gaming should be lauded for its pro-active approach toward this problem.
“It has become increasingly disturbing to the Board of the reports of these incidents by irresponsible adults,” said O’Toole. “Since casinos have a joint vested interest with the PGCB to protect the integrity of gaming, we are appreciative of the efforts by Boyd Gaming and look forward to additional similar plans by other casino properties in Pennsylvania to work on its self-policing efforts before a tragedy occurs.”
A copy of the Memorandum of Understanding and the PowerPoint presentation made at today’s meeting outlining Valley Forge Casino Resort’s mitigation plan, is available at this LINK.
The Board also today placed two adults who left children unattended at a casino 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, 131 individuals have been placed on the Involuntary Exclusion list for this type of incident.
DETAILS OF INCIDENTS
• The parent of 7- and 8-year-old children was placed on the Involuntary Exclusion List after leaving them in his vehicle to place a bet at the casino sportsbook; and,
• The parent of 6-year-old child was placed on the Involuntary Exclusion List after leaving him in his vehicle to place a bet at the casino sportsbook.
In making these decisions regarding the two 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, December 15, 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.