PGCP Bans Four Adults for Leaving Unattended Minors While Gambling

caleb tallman
Caleb Tallman
Casino News


  • PA Gaming Control Board bans four adults from casinos for leaving minors unattended during gambling activities.
  • The awareness campaign "Don't Gamble with Kids" reduces incidents of unattended minors in casinos.
  • PGCB's vigilant efforts ensure child safety and a responsible gambling environment.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has taken an unwavering stance on ensuring the safety and well-being of minors within the casino environment. Recently, the Board's Office of Enforcement Counsel pursued and gained approval for petitions that led to the prohibition of four adults from participating in any casino activities across the Commonwealth.

PA Stance on Safe Gambling Behavior + Reasons For Bans

The reason for this strict action was their irresponsible act of leaving minors unattended while engaging in gambling activities.

Among the cases that prompted this action, one involved a male and a female adult who were placed on the Involuntary Exclusion List. This sanction was imposed after they left a 9-year-old child unattended in their vehicle for a staggering 1 hour and 34 minutes within the parking garage of Wind Creek Bethlehem. During this time, the adults were engrossed in playing slot machines.

Similarly, a female patron found herself on the Involuntary Exclusion List after leaving her 13-year-old unattended within her vehicle for 39 minutes at the parking lot of Hollywood PA Casino York. Her focus on slot machines took precedence over the safety of her child.

In another disconcerting incident, a male patron faced the consequences of his actions as he was placed on the Involuntary Exclusion List. He left a 6-year-old child alone in his vehicle within the parking garage of Rivers Casino Pittsburgh for an alarming 1 hour and 44 minutes, all while he was engrossed in table games.

PGCB Increased Efforts for Safe Gambling

These incidents, while deeply concerning, have prompted the PGCB to underscore the prohibition of leaving minors unattended in various casino-related spaces, including parking lots, garages, and hotel premises.

The Board has stressed that such behavior creates an unsafe and potentially dangerous environment for the vulnerable minors. Notably, aside from the punitive exclusion from all Pennsylvania casinos, adults who abandon minors in casino settings can also face criminal charges.

As part of its ongoing efforts to tackle this issue, the PGCB has initiated an awareness campaign aptly titled "Don't Gamble with Kids." This initiative aims to educate casino-goers about the risks associated with leaving minors unattended and has yielded promising results. While statistics from the first seven months of 2022 revealed a troubling 197 incidents of unattended minors, there has been a significant reduction to 126 such incidents in the corresponding period of 2023.

The proactive measures taken by the PGCB demonstrate its unwavering commitment to safeguarding the well-being of minors within the casino landscape. The PGCB's dedication to addressing this matter effectively is further highlighted by its regular meetings, with the next one scheduled for September 20, 2023. During these meetings, the Board deliberates on crucial matters related to casino operations, regulations, and safety protocols.

Role of the PGCB

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, as a governing entity, shoulders the responsibility of overseeing various facets of gambling activities in the state. This includes the management and regulation of 17 land-based casinos, online casino platforms, both retail and online sports wagering, and Video Gaming Terminals (VGTs) at eligible truck stops. Additionally, the Board is entrusted with the regulation of online fantasy sports contests, further demonstrating its comprehensive purview.

The land-based casino sector in Pennsylvania is composed of distinct categories, encompassing racetrack casinos, stand-alone casinos, resort casinos, and mini-casinos. 
Collectively, these establishments play a pivotal role in the state's economy by generating substantial job opportunities and contributing significantly to tax revenues. In the Fiscal Year 2022/23 alone, these regulated gaming activities generated over $2.3 billion in tax revenue, underscoring their economic significance.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board's resolute actions to prevent the unsafe abandonment of minors within casino premises reflect its commitment to fostering a secure and responsible gambling environment. Through stringent sanctions, awareness campaigns, and vigilant oversight, the Board aims to ensure that minors are safeguarded from potential harm and that the integrity of the casino industry is upheld.

A huge sports fan; locally, many know me as the guy who does the PA for our high school football team on Friday nights. Having grown up in Michigan, I am a sports fan of all the Detroit teams, and at the college level, I love Michigan State sports. I have covered sports betting, iGaming and casino industry news for many well known websites.