That Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) is under fire for its awareness campaign targeting children left unsupervised while people play in Pennsylvania.
In the past week, the Philadelphia investigators‘s editorial board issued a scathing critique of the PGCB’s response to unsupervised childrencalled it “silly”.
“The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has a stupid solution to a serious problem. Many customers of local casinos continue to leave children locked in their cars while they go inside and gamble.”
The newspaper’s response, along with data provided by the PGCB, brings to light a heartbreaking reality in the country’s second largest casino market.
However, the newspaper urged the board to do more than launch “questionable advertising campaigns”. Instead it should Focus on doing more to encourage responsible gaming.
Pennsylvania Gamers Leaving Children Unattended to Increase Nearly 60% in 2022
Earlier this month, the PGCB announced an awareness campaign aimed at guardians who leave children alone in Pennsylvania casinos.
The announcement noted that unsupervised children Incidents increased by 57% in 2022. “Unattended” could mean players leave their children in a car while they play. It could mean that guardians leave children in a hotel room while they go to the playing field.
In any case, the number of incidents rose from 171 for all of 2021 to 269 by early November. The number of children affected also rose from 279 to 441.
To counteract this, the PGCB launched a Multi-platform awareness campaign titled “Don’t Gamble With Children”. The campaign includes:
- Public broadcasting announcements
- TV commercial
- Social Media Posts
- Printed Materials
- A website
PGCB Managing Director Kevin O’Toole said the board is “hopeful” the campaign will work.
“Ultimately, we want everyone to understand the magnitude of this problem and know what to do when faced with a situation in a car park, hotel or anywhere else. That said, immediately report the situation to casino or hotel security, who have been fully trained on how to respond appropriately.”
Moreover, the legislature has done it illegal to leave children at cars. Likewise, Valley Forge Casino Resort went so far as to install infrared cameras in their parking lot to detect unattended minors.
The Philly Newspaper believes PGCB is not doing enough
That questioner‘s opinion piece is a direct response to the PGCB’s new campaign. Simply put, the newspaper said that an awareness campaign is not enough.
Board members must earn their salary and present a legitimate way to curb guardians who leave children alone. The paper wrote:
“Is that the best the Gambling Control Board members – who get paid $145,000 a year for meeting once or twice a month – could come up with? Any parent or guardian who leaves a child in the car to go play — sometimes for hours — likely has a serious addiction problem. Showing some ads is unlikely to change their behavior.”
The paper noted that problem gambling leads to all sorts of problems:
- Higher Divorce Rates
- Domestic Violence
- child abuse
- substance abuse
The paper provided convincing arguments. There was data. It made valid points. Anyway, it couldn’t give any answers. There was no plan. Concrete action steps were not planned.
So what should the state do about underage and problem gambling? Most can agree that it can take action. But not just any action. An effective problem gambling policy and enforcement is required.
In the meantime, Problem players can get help In many ways: