Pennsylvania forbids casino goers from leaving their children unattended. Yet, in four years, there have been a whopping 147 cases of unattended children in just a single casino. The Wind Creek Bethlehem has had enough.
Statistics Aren’t Good
The casino resort has presented a mitigation plan to the local regulator, Pennsylvania’s Gaming Control Board. The venue plans to pour $4 million to improve its security and prevent parents from leaving their children unattended. This makes the Wind Creek Bethlehem the second casino in the state to discuss such measures with the board.
Wind Creek’s measures come as it encountered 147 incidents with a total of 268 children between 2018 and 2021. Furthermore, there were 43 more cases between April 2021 and April 2022. The average age of the unattended children was 12 years. Some of the kids were teenagers who can more or less take care of themselves but others were toddlers, some as young as 2 months old. To make matters worse, there were kids who were left alone for more than 9 hours.
However, dealing with the problem is easier said than done. Because of the venue’s sheer size, it will be very hard to monitor every corner. There are also plenty of places reserved for children, which will make it even harder to discern unattended kids from attended ones.
Wind Creek Has a Plan
Wind Creek released a statement, saying that it is well aware of the problem and is working on it. The company bought the venue in 2019 and has struggled with unattended children ever since. The casino has multiple warnings that remind adults they cannot leave their children alone. Sadly, this hasn’t stopped multiple irresponsible parents from doing so.
Wind Creek will continue tackling the problem. In May, the casino contacted Pennsylvania’s Gaming Control Board and proposed several measures, including adding more warning signs, hiring a security firm to watch the parking area and training employees to spot unattended children. The casino will also continue the tradition of calling the city police during big events.
Wind Creek Bethlehem has a zero-tolerance policy for those who leave children unattended. Those who do are permanently evicted, and could be prosecuted by the Bethlehem Police Department.
Wind Creek Bethlehem statement
The Control Board Is Interested in the Results
Taking a look at the broader statistics, there have been a total of 269 cases of unattended children since the start of 2021. Those cases involved a total of 424 children in Pennsylvania’s casinos.
Doug Harbach, a spokesperson of the state’s gambling authority, noted that unattended children in casinos have become commonplace. He said that this is unacceptable and the regulator has a high interest in seeing how casinos handle the problem.
Harbach also noted that other casinos are also putting efforts into curbing this problem. Many have already added more signage in both the parking areas and in the casinos themselves. Companies are already employing security that looks for unattended children. Pennsylvania hopes to solve this pervasive problem in the next few months or years.