Parx Casino Pennsylvania Earns $12,500 Penalty for Firecracker-Firing Teen’s Gambling Spree

  • PGCB fined Parx for allowing the teen “to enter the gaming floor and gamble on slot machines”
  • After playing slots, captured on camera, he drove around the car park letting off firecrackers
  • A later police investigation into the firecracker incident subsequently revealed his age
  • The teen snuck into the casino while security officers were busy with COVID-19 protocols
  • The board also blacklisted three adults from casinos for leaving kids unattended in cars

 

hand presses play game button on slot machine
A teen who might have got away with entering Parx Casino in Pennslyvania has earned the casino a $12,500 fine for allowing the underage gambler entry. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Causing a scene with explosives

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has fined the operator of Parx Casino $12,500 for allowing a teenage male – who later caused a scene with firecrackers – access into the gambling establishment in Bensalem, Bucks County.

The PGCB took to Twitter to share the news of its October 13 decision in relation to the underage gambler, aged 18, along with an action on unattended children left in cars:

According to an official press release, the PGCB fined Parx Casino’s operator, Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment Inc., for permitting the underaged gambler “to enter the gaming floor and gamble on slot machines.” The Philadelphia Inquirer cited the PGCB as saying the $10,000 penalty plus $2,500 in administrative costs is the norm for a violation involving an underaged gambler.

the 18-year-old left the casino and tossed firecrackers out of his car

The unnamed teen’s access into the casino on September 16, 2020 only came to light after he began setting off firecrackers in the property’s parking lot. According to the Inquirer, the 18-year-old left the casino and tossed the explosive fireworks out of his car as he drove around the lot for ten minutes.

Surveillance footage of the teen revealed him playing slots at the casino. He – and Parx Casino – might have escaped punishment but for a follow-up investigation by Pennsylvania State Police into the firecracker spree, which led to the identification of the vehicle’s driver and his age.

Teen took advantage of COVID-19 protocols

According to Parx officials, the young male slipped into the casino while two security officers checked other patrons’ IDs and conducted COVID-19 screening protocols.

The compliance officer of the casino, Bryan Schroeder, said the slots-bound male “noticed the COVID-19 protocols, waited for [security] to help do the temperature check and provide masks, and snuck in.”

The PGCB’s official press release states the Gaming Act makes it unlawful for any person under 21 “to enter and remain in any area of a licensed facility where slot machines are operated or the play of table games is conducted.” The law also prohibits wagering, playing, or attempting to play a slot machine or table game in such an establishment.

According to media reports, surveillance cameras at the Bensalem casino recorded the young opportunist playing six slot machines in quick succession. His longest game on a slot was three and a half minutes. He also met his grandfather in the casino.

Firecrackers and hot cars

At the public meeting on October 13, PGCB commissioner Sean Logan asked Schroeder:

Did [the teen] win big or what was the firecrackers about?”

In response, Schroeder denied any knowledge of a reason for the spree. “He was 18 years old, driving his car around, throwing them out the window,” the compliance officer replied. “That’s pretty much it.”

The PGCB meeting also ruled on three cases involving unattended children left in cars in casino parking areas. Deeming the behavior “irresponsible”, the PGCB placed the three offending adults on its involuntary exclusion list. Placement on this list prohibits individuals from entering and gambling at all Pennsylvania casinos.

In June 2020 in Oklahoma, a judge sentenced a 50-year-old woman to 17 years in prison for leaving her grandson, aged five, to die in a hot car in a Kickapoo Casino parking lot during the summer of 2018.