Article published on 8 December 2011

Casino Nanaimo Reports on Unattended Children

Unattended children at Casino Nanaimo
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The number of reports of children left unattended is the highest at Casino Nanaimo in Vancouver, Canada than at any other casino in the city.

The Vancouver Sun newspaper recently published a revealing and concerning report that between January 1, 2005 and July 22, 2010 there have been a total of 86 reported incidents of unattended children at Casino Nanaimo.

During the same period, River Rock Casino Resort, Vancouver's largest casino, filed 17 reports of children being left unattended. Meanwhile, Prince George Casino and Terrace Casino reported 80 and 53 cases, respectively.

Causes of Unattended Children in Canadian Casinos

According to an executive at the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation (GCGC), Nanaimo has reported the largest number of children left unattended simply because of its proximity to the Port Palace Shopping Centre.

GCGC Vice President (media and entertainment) Howard Blank said that entire families visit the mall and decide to spend a few minutes in the nearby casino in the hopes of hitting a jackpot. He also said that cases about unattended children must be reported, even if they are left alone for a minute.

Leaving children alone is something that is simply not permitted. Blank also pointed that Nanaimo Casino is the only casino in the province which has a shopping mall so close by. He talked about the possibility of altering the layout of the mall in the future to help prevent this issue.

Jim Slater, assistant general manager of Casino Nanaimo, explained that under law, casino staff are required to respond to any unattended child 18-years-old or younger, report the case to child services, and then inform the police if something appears to be wrong or if they cannot locate the child's parents or guardians.

Stating that leaving a child alone will result in the casino customer getting locked out for one year, he said that the report will be sent to BCLC, which has the power to bar the customer from all casinos in the province for maximum 5 years. Unattended children in Canadian casinos is a growing concern.

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