A popular Pennsylvania casino and resort in the Poconos announced a new 21 year age requirement for their property. Starting Dec. 18, Mount Airy Casino Resort will apply the new restriction not only to the casino floor, but to the whole property. This includes the hotel, restaurants, spa and pool, and of course the bars.

Resort management say the change intends to better allow them to deliver promises of “exceptional amenities and outstanding personal service.”

Mt. Airy Casino Resort offering ‘premier resort experience’

In terms of why Mt. Airy Casino Resort is making the “adults only” transition, resort operations vice president Hassan Abdel-Moneim explained. He said:

“We made this decision in order to offer a new level of luxury that will further enhance the guest experience at our award-winning resort. We expect this new identity will be very popular with couples seeking romance and tranquility, singles looking to join the party, and any group or individual seeking the premier resort experience offered by Mount Airy Casino Resort.”

Resort management acknowledged that the Poconos area is generally a family-friendly destination. They pointed would-be family guests to the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau for assistance in finding other regional attractions.

Chris Barrett, president and CEO of the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau, also encouraged the invitation. He said:

“There are many kid-friendly properties located throughout the Poconos and we’re more than happy to assist families in finding those wonderful opportunities for their upcoming visit.”

PGCB urging PA casinos to prevent underage gambling

Mount Airy’s new age restriction comes just three months after the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board levied fines against the casino. It allowed underage gambling on its premises.

The fines totaled $160,000, resulting from three separate instances of people under 21 accessing the game floor and gambling. Two of the cases involved children aged 11 and 13 accompanying their parents and playing slot machines. The other involved an unaccompanied 18 year old.

In recent months, PA casinos and the PGCB saw a rash of instances of adult casino visitors leaving children unattended in vehicles, hotel rooms and other areas. From January to October 2022, the board recorded 269 cases involving 441 minors. They were left unattended while an adult responsible for them gambled in a casino.

These incidents prompted the PGCB to launch an awareness campaign, warning parents and adults that it is not OK to bring kids to casinos.

‘Don’t Gamble with Kids’ campaign now live

PGCB executive director Kevin O’Toole said in a press release, “In its role to protect the public, the board hopes to bring awareness of this very important issue through the ‘Don’t Gamble with Kids’ campaign.”

The board is reminding adults about the potential consequences for leaving kids unattended. These include criminal charges filed by law enforcement and investigation by the Department of Children and Youth Services. You can also earn lifetime bans at potentially all PA casinos, via the board’s publicly available Exclusion List.

At the time of Mount Airy’s previous infractions, Josh Ercole, executive director of the Council of Compulsive Gambling of Pennsylvania, said underage gambling in casinos is not the norm and called the incidents “isolated.” PA casinos have strict security, and the latest move by Mount Airy should prove to be a step in the right direction to prevent future incidents there.

Mt. Airy Casino Resort Photo