The increased number of unattended kids left in parked vehicles at Pennsylvania’s Valley Forge Casino Resorts while adults gamble has led the gaming facility to take some new safeguards. One includes setting up infrared surveillance cameras.
The infrared cameras can detect heat when a kid or other person is in a parked vehicle. That will help security officers patrolling cars with tinted windows.
This week, the gaming property and executives from its parent firm, Boyd Gaming, said they plan to spend a total of $776,000 on prevention and education concerning the issue.
These include more warning signs. The signs will be placed in hotel rooms, the casino’s food court, and parking areas.
Since January, Valley Forge, located in King of Prussia, has experienced 22 cases where kids were left unattended in cars and other vehicles. That compares to 15 such incidents in the last three years, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
More security guards are patrolling parking lots, searching for unattended kids, too. In addition, Valley Forge hired Upper Merion, Pa. Police to patrol parking areas on weekends during the current football season. According to Inquirer, that is when there is more sports wagering.
If found leaving children in cars, the suspects could be arraigned in court or banned for life from the state’s casinos.
When appearing before the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board on Wednesday, Adrian R. King Jr., a lawyer representing Valley Forge, warned that this problem sits at the feet of very irresponsible parents.
“We realize we have a responsibility to run a safe and secure property,”
Inquirer further quoted him.
“While we can never prevent human stupidity…we can attempt to mitigate it and make sure that dumb decisions don’t become tragic ones.”
When commenting on the incidents, Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board Official Director Kevin O’Toole said
“the reports of these incidents by irresponsible adults” are “increasingly disturbing to the board.”
Board members commended Boyd Gaming and Valley Forge for taking the precautions, the newspaper reported.
In addition, it looks like some of the increased number of incidents this year occurred after employees were trained more about watching for unattended kids and the casino giving gift certificates to employees for observing such incidents.
Statewide, since 2011, 131 adults have been banned from Pennsylvania casinos for leaving kids unattended in cars. So far, eight instances at Valley Forge this year relate to those going inside casinos to gamble.
When a baby was left in a vehicle in June, security personnel broke windows to reach the young kid. A parent was sent to jail after being subdued by the authorities, the Inquirer said.
Also, earlier this year in the state, Jamelia Mack was reportedly placed on the casino exclusion list in April after leaving her 12-and-5-year-old kids unattended in a vehicle for two hours while at Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino.
In another instance, Samy Hassan was reportedly placed on the list in July after leaving an 11-year-old kid unattended for over two hours at Wind Creek Casino in Bethlehem.
In addition, Zachary Bohinski, 28, recognized as a pastor at Fells Methodist Church in Rostraver, was charged with two cases of endangering the welfare of a kid and disorderly conduct. Bohinski had allegedly left two kids inside a vehicle unattended at Live! Casino Pittsburg, as reported by KDKA, a local TV station.
On July 31, while his daughters were in the vehicle, Bohinski got into the property’s Guy Fieri’s restaurant and ordered a “trash can nachos,” KDKA revealed. Then he won $1,600 on the slots.
Last Updated on by Ryan