- The PA Gaming Control Board has issued a warning directed to casino patrons ahead of Thanksgiving
- The warning comes ahead of the holiday weekend, known as one of the busiest periods of the year for casinos in the state
- The agency has launched the “Don’t Gamble with Kids” campaign to raise awareness on the matter
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The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB), which regulates all aspects of the Commonwealth’s casino industry, has launched the “Don’t Gamble with Kids“ campaign ahead of the upcoming Thanksgiving Holiday. The weekend, which is known for being one of the busiest times of the year for land casinos in the state, is expected to once again attract a large number of casino patrons. Accordingly, PGCB has issued a clear warning directed to all casino patrons, asking them not to bring their children along and leave them unattended when visiting brick-and-mortar casinos on Thanksgiving.
Alarming Numbers of Unsupervised Children on Casino Premises
The warning was necessary as a result of the alarmingly large number of cases in which adults went to casinos and left their children without any adult supervision inside their hotel rooms or in parked cars. Since the beginning of the year, the agency reported 269 cases regarding 441 minors left unsupervised while under the responsibility of their parents or legal guardians engaged in wagering.
PGCB’s executive director Kevin O’Toole spoke about the act of leaving minors unattended in garages or parking lots, hotels, and other venues parts of casinos as one that can generate a “potentially unsafe and dangerous environment” for children. The agency is expecting to draw more attention to the topic and raise more awareness with the help of the “Don’t Gamble with Kids” campaign. As part of the campaign, adult caregivers deciding to leave their children unattended to enter land casinos in the state may receive up to a lifetime ban in the respective casino. They may also be placed on the agency’s Exclusion List consisting of individuals who are no longer allowed to enter casinos in the Commonwealth. The same adults could face criminal charges or investigations under the Department of Children and Youth Services in their corresponding counties.
PA Running Public Service Announcements for the Campaign
The campaign’s ad is currently running all across the state and it also targets the general gambling public. The campaign encourages them to also “be diligent in looking out for children at risk” and instantly report these incidents to casinos and hotel security staff. Additional information regarding the campaign can be shared and posted via the DontGamblewithKids.org platform. Adults who tend to leave their children unattended while wagering are also prone to show signs of compulsive gambling issues. Accordingly, the campaign includes information from the agency’s compulsive and problem gambling program site responsibleplay.pa.gov.
At the end of October, the same Gaming Control Board reported improved revenue from gambling for Fiscal Year 2021/2022 compared to Fiscal Year 2020/2021.