22 incidents this year

Boyd presents project to mitigate unattendead children problem at its Pennsylvania casino

Valley Forge Casino Resort in Pennsylvania.
Reading time 2:03 min
Its Montgomery County property, Valley Forge Casino Resort announced Wednesday the installation of infrared cameras in the face of a surge in cases of unattended children left in cars. This is part of a six-part plan presented before the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board to enhance the facility's efforts to deter and detect these situations.

Boyd Gaming Corporation, owner of the Valley Forge Casino Resort in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania  announced Wednesday it has presented a six-part mitigation plan to enhance the facility’s efforts to deter and detect instances win which a parent or guardian leaves a child unattended at its property. 

This plan, presented before the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, comes in response to increased concern over the past year by the Board members of the number of incidents reported of children being left in vehicles, hotel rooms or other locations in or near casinos throughout the Commonwealth. 

Boyd Gaming reviewed these incidents at Valley Forge over the last four years to come up with the proposed course of action. Some of the steps included in it have already been implemented. Boyd Gaming told the Board that it has also allocated financial resources totaling $776,000 towards this plan. 

The Board also placed two adults who left children unattended at a casino on the PGCB’s Involuntary Exclusion List that prohibits individuals from entering and gambling at all Pennsylvania casinos. Additionally, offenders may also face criminal prosecution for endangering the welfare of a child or children.

Gaming Control Board Executive Director Kevin O’Toole spoke about this initiative and said: “It has become increasingly disturbing to the Board of the reports of these incidents by irresponsible adults. Since casinos have a joint vested interest with the PGCB to protect the integrity of gaming, we are appreciative of the efforts by Boyd Gaming and look forward to additional similar plans by other casino properties in Pennsylvania to work on its self-policing efforts before a tragedy occurs.”

Since 2011, 131 individuals have been placed on the Involuntary Exclusion list for this type of incident.  Having had 22 episodes of this kind this year -compared with 15 during the previous three years-, Valley Forge Casinos has also announced Wednesday the installation of infrared cameras at its parking areas to detect unattended children left in vehicles. 

Adrian R. King Jr., a Ballard Spahr lawyer who represents Valley Forge, also commented: “This problem, as we know, really sits at the feet of very irresponsible parents. That being said, we realize we have a responsibility to run a safe and secure property”, The Inquirer reported.

Ronald Bailey, Valley Forge’s General Manager, added: “The team at Valley Forge, they’re just committed because they know it’s the right thing to do, but it’s always great to reward your team members for that”. 

The next meeting of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is scheduled for 10:00 a.m., Wednesday, December 15, 2021 in the PGCB’s Public Hearing Room located on the second floor of the Strawberry Square Complex in Harrisburg.

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