Pennsylvania’s Valley Forge Casino Resort is applying several measures following an increased number of unattended kids in cars while adults play in the casino. One of these measures is to install infrared cameras to monitor kids left in the cars.
Usually, most cars have darkened windows that prevent security guards from knowing whether someone is in the car. With these cameras, these officers will identify the presence of a child.
This week, through its parent company Boyd Gaming, the resort will spend $776,000 to educate and prevent the irresponsible act. First, the company plans to install warning signs against leaving kids in the car. These signs will be on the gaming floors, hotel rooms, and parking lots.
Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Valley Forge had seen 22 unattended kids in cars parked in the parking lots while adults were playing in casinos since January. In the past three years, there have been 15 similar cases.
Located in King of Prussia, Valley Forge Casino has hired Upper Merion Pennsylvania cops to man the parking lots during the weekends during the ongoing football season. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that more people go to the casino during the football season, leading to more unattended children.
The casino has also added several security officers to patrol the parking looking for kids left without a caregiver or adult.
Those caught leaving children in the car will be prosecuted. Also, they will be prevented from going back to the casino in the future.
Adrian R. King Jr is representing Valley Forge for a legal matter regarding the irresponsible act of leaving children in a car. Speaking to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, Adrian said the casino has difficulty dealing with irresponsible parents.
The attorney also told the Inquirer that the casino was responsible for running a safe and secure gaming property. He noted that the casino might not control what people do but can try and minimize the issue to prevent tragic results.
Increasing Number of Irresponsible Adults
The executive director of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, Kevin O’Toole, noted reports made by various casinos about irresponsible adults leaving kids in vehicles. The board members were impressed by the step Boyd Gaming and Valley Forge is taking to protect children.
The increasing number of unattended kids comes following training that taught employees how to find them. Valley Forge is giving certificates to employees that identify unattended children.
Since 2011, Pennsylvania casinos have banned 131 adults from going to their properties for previously leaving kids without an adult in the car. This year, eight adults have been banned from Valley Forge for going to the casino’s sportsbook and other gaming floors with their kids unattended.
In June this year, a parent left their kid in the car at the Valley Forge parking lot to play. Security officers had to break the car windows to get the child out. This was followed by authorities prosecuting the parent, which led to a jail term.
Another case is when Jameila Mack left her 12 year old and 5-year-old in the car to play at Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino. Jameila was banned from going to the casino in April.
Another adult banned from going to a casino is Samy Hassan for leaving an 11-year-old without a supervisor. Samy cannot go to Wind Creek Casino in Bethlehem since July.
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