|In America, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is investigating claims that the Philadelphia Park Casino and Racetrack in Bensalem allowed children to accompany adults onto the casino floor last year.|
According to one complaint pending before the state’s gambling regulators, a five-year-old sat with his grandfather taking turns at a slot machine while another alleges that two other children at separate times were on the floor of the casino as their parents played slots and blackjack nearby.
“Some might think the notion of a grandpa and a five-year-old taking turns pulling the lever on a one-armed bandit is humorous or even cute but it's not,' said Michael Geer, President for Harrisburg-based Pennsylvania Family Institute.
'It's a very serious matter; a scenario that can even put the child at risk for future gambling compulsion. That Philadelphia Park has been caught allowing children on their casino floor is troubling and worthy of prosecution. But is it surprising? No.'
The news comes as the Board announced that casino revenues are expected to grow by as much as 40 percent over the next 15 months. The state granted eleven licenses in December of 2006 and Kevin Hayes, Operations Director for the body, stated that the majority of these casinos are operational following the completion of construction.
Official figures revealed that slot machines had generated more than $590 million in tax revenues alongside $550 in licensing fees by the end of 2007. This has allowed Governor Edward Rendell to announce property tax cuts averaging ten percent for all of the state’s residents.
Hayes also stated that the opening of two new stand-along facilities along with the transformation of two temporary venues into permanent casinos would create 3,000 additional jobs. However, planned casinos in the Philadelphia area are still on indefinite hold due to neighbourhood opposition.