Casino patrons leaving children unattended has been a top priority for the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB). Unfortunately, the PGCB reported more incidents of children left unsupervised in cars at Pennsylvania casinos in its latest meeting on Wednesday. The worst of which is a couple leaving five children unattended, including a 2-year-old.

While five more patrons were added to the Involuntary Exclusion List, the number of incidents and children being left behind is dropping in 2023. The positive results are beginning to show after the PGCB launched multiple campaigns to prevent children from being left unattended at the state’s casinos.

Incidents of adults leaving children unattended at PA casinos

Leaving any child unattended while an adult games in a casino is an egregious act, and at times, is a criminal act. However, not all adults that leave children unattended are charged criminally.

The PGCB shared GGS, a female, and OM, a male, left five children unattended in a vehicle for 29 minutes while the couple played slots at Presque Isle Downs. Ages of the children were 2, 4, 5, 11 and 13. The couple was permanently banned from the casino, but did not face criminal charges.

Other cases include:

  • BR, a male, left an 11-year-old in the parking garage at Live! Casino Philadelphia for 28 minutes while placing sports wagers. When caught, BR tried to drive off but was unsuccessful. BR was permanently banned from the casino, but not charged.
  • GC, a male, left a 10-year-old at Rivers Casino Pittsburgh for five minutes while visiting the sportsbook. GC received a permanent ban but was not criminally charged.
  • PF, a female, left an 8 and 9-year old unattended at Mohegan Pennsylvania. PF played slots for 45 minutes and received a permanent ban from the casino. She was not charged criminally, either.

Pennsylvania casinos on pace for far fewer cases in 2023

PA casinos dealt with a record number of children left unattended in 2022. The PGCB has launched several campaigns to stop adults from leaving children in cars and around casinos.

It does appear that incidents are dropping dramatically. In 2022, there were 303 incidents with 486 minors involved in being left unsupervised.

After the PGCB’s report of four more incidents involving nine children, the total for 2023 comes to 35 incidents with 51 minors involved.

The state is on pace for 84 incidents with about 122 kids left unattended for the year.

While one incident is too many, it is a far cry from the 2022 numbers. The PGCB has done a great job with this initiative, but shouldn’t stop until there are zero cases.

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