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Committee Approves Pair Of Bills To Prevent Kids Being Left In Casino Parking Lots

(Gamblers at slot machines at Parx Casino, in Bucks County, Pa.  File photo)

(Gamblers at slot machines at Parx Casino, in Bucks County, Pa. File photo)

(Capitol dome, Harrisburg, Pa.   File photo) Tony Romeo
  Tony Romeo is Harrisburg bureau chief for KYW Newsradio...
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HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) – A state House committee has approved a pair of bills spawned by the rash of cases involving children being left in vehicles while adults gamble.

The House Gaming Oversight Committee has given its approval to legislation that would prohibit anyone from leaving a child under the age of 14 unattended in a vehicle on a property controlled by a casino. In addition to imposing criminal penalties, it would result in the offender being excluded from gaming facilities. Another bill would require casinos to post signs warning of the penalties.

The sponsor of the bills, Philadelphia Democrat Michael O’Brien, spoke of how his own father changed after the gambling “switch” clicked on in his head. O’Brien says he wants to remind people of appropriate behavior.

“Hopefully, take that switch that has clicked in their heads and turn it off.”

Backers of the legislation say they want to close a loophole which can result in some district justices not finding current child endangerment laws applicable in these situations involving children over age six.

Reported by Harrisburg Bureau Chief Tony Romeo, KYW Newsradio 1060

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