Decrease in Unsupervised Minors Reported at Pennsylvania Casinos

Posted on: August 25th, 2023, 01:48h. 

Last updated on: August 25th, 2023, 01:48h.

Pennsylvania casinos continue to report instances of unattended minors left in cars outside their establishments. However, authorities in the state are optimistic about the decreasing rates of such incidents.

Pennsylvania casinos unattended children
Hollywood Casino York, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board says, was the site of an unattended child left in a vehicle. Pennsylvania casinos have been battling such occurrences in recent years, but a campaign is said to be working on reducing such incidences. (Image: York Dispatch)

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) recently reported four new cases of minors being left unattended in vehicles outside casinos. According to a statement by the PGCB, four individuals have been added to the state’s Involuntary Exclusion List for leaving children in their cars while they engaged in gambling activities.

One incident involved a couple leaving a nine-year-old in a vehicle at Wind Creek Bethlehem’s parking garage. CCTV footage revealed that the couple had gambled for over 90 minutes while the child remained in the car.

A female patron at Hollywood Casino York, one of Pennsylvania’s “mini-casinos,” was also included in the Involuntary Exclusion List for gambling for approximately 40 minutes while her 13-year-old sat unattended in an outdoor parking lot.

Another case involved a male patron who gambled at Rivers Casino Pittsburgh for one hour and 44 minutes while leaving a six-year-old in the casino’s parking garage.

Cracking Down on the Issue

The PGCB launched its “Don’t Gamble With Kids” campaign in November, aiming to raise awareness about the risks of leaving children unattended. Alongside a public service announcement, the campaign includes social media posts and on-site materials for casinos. Pennsylvania law treats endangering the welfare of a child as a criminal offense, carrying penalties and fines. Individuals found to have left a child unattended in a vehicle for the purpose of gambling may face a permanent ban from the casinos.

Those placed on the Involuntary Exclusion List are prohibited from entering any brick-and-mortar casino in the state. Trespassing charges can be pressed against anyone on the list who attempts to enter a casino.

The specific dates of the aforementioned incidents involving unattended children were not disclosed by the PGCB. However, the board conducts investigations to gather all necessary information when such cases are reported.

Individuals added to the Involuntary Exclusion List have the right to due process and can appeal their enrollment with a PGCB administrative judge. The process of issuing a ban following an incident can take between six months to over a year, suggesting that the reported incidents this week occurred prior to the launch of the PSA campaign.

Success of the PSA

From January to July, the PGCB recorded 126 incidents of unattended children outside casinos, marking a 36% decrease compared to previous periods. The aim, however, remains a 100% decrease in such incidents.

The PGCB website,, emphasizes the importance of reporting any sightings of unattended children and encourages casino staff and the general public to take action. The campaign seeks to protect children from the abuse and neglect associated with this issue.

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