Pennsylvania casino fined for allowing children ages 11, 13 to gamble

HARRISBURG, Pa. — A casino is facing $160,000 in fines for allowing children to gamble on multiple occasions.

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The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board announced the fines against the operator of the Mount Airy Casino Resort in a news release, saying that on three separate instances, people under 21 were given access to the casino floor and allowed to gamble.

Investigators said that at different times, an 18-year-old male gambled at two slot machines, an 11-year-old girl gambled at 10 slot machines while both parents were with her, and two 13-year-old girls gambled at slot machines with their mother.

The casino has a policy to require identification for anyone who appears under age 30, The Pennsylvania Inquirer reported.

“It sounds like the entire staff needs to be trained,” Denise J. Smyler, the board chair, said at the PGCB meeting, The Inquirer reported.

A spokeswoman for Mount Airy said in a statement to “The ownership of Mount Airy Casino Resort respects the decision of the Gaming Board and we are always working towards further improving our processes.”

Mount Airy’s director of security, Lianne Asbury, told the board that the casino had faced challenges because of COVID-19 mask requirements, which made it difficult to determine someone’s age, The Inquirer reported.

“In the 11-year-old situation, the child was wearing a mask,” Asbury told the board. “The child’s also 5-foot-7 with womanly features.”

“Even an 11-year-old doesn’t look like they’re 30,” Smyler responded, according to The Inquirer. “I don’t care if they’re five-eight, I don’t care if they’re 6 foot. And I don’t care if they’re built like a woman.”