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The Inquirer has an interesting article about Parx Casino and its “dubious distinction of being the only gambling hall in Pennsylvania where adults have been caught leaving children in vehicles parked outside while they gambled inside”:

In the last 17 months alone, Parx – Pennsylvania’s top-grossing casino – saw 10 individuals arrested on its property and charged with endangering the welfare of children left in vehicles while the adults gambled inside.

In just the last week: Michael Roytman, 29, of Huntingdon Valley was charged with leaving his 6-year-old daughter in his car in sweltering heat and was jailed after failing to post $75,000 bail; Frances Casey, 39, of Abington, was charged in connection with leaving two nephews, ages 1 and 2, and a 9-year-old niece in her automobile July 16. She is to be issued a court summons.

Parx is taking action on the matter, said casino spokeswoman Carrie Nork-Minelli.

“This is the action of irresponsible adults, and we do our best to combat it with the highest level of security and surveillance possible,” she said. “We’ve added additional security teams and patrol units – that are not required by the Gaming Control Board – to help with this type of deplorable activity.”

But the most recent incidents have occurred despite those stepped-up measures.

It’s a serious problem; about fifty children die every year because they were left unattended in a car.

The article is titled “Should Parx Casino be liable in child-neglect cases?” but the article is more about the Gaming Control Board’s review of the situation rather than about Parx’s liability for those incidents, and to my knowledge no lawsuits have been filed alleging as much. Casinos’ primary legal liability tends to involve slip-and-fall cases or liquor liability, but, if the Parx trend continues, we might see lawsuits arising from these issues, so let’s consider the question anyway.

As the casino’s spokeswoman said, it is, of course, “deplorable” and “irresponsible” for parents to knowingly leave their children unattended in cars while they go gamble, and the parents are primarily responsible for the harm, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the casino isn’t also responsible for the problem.


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