By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG (CBS) – The state House has passed and sent to a pair of bills aimed at addressing the epidemic of gamblers leaving children unattended in casino parking lots.

The state House has passed a bill that would prohibit anyone from leaving a child under the age of 14 unattended in a vehicle on property controlled by a casino. In addition to imposing penalties, it would result in the offender being excluded from gaming facilities.

“Well, we can’t raise kids as a legislature. We increased the penalties, we want to increase the awareness, and frankly, we want parents to be parents,” said Mike Vereb, Montgomery County Republican and gaming reform advocate. “Casinos are not a place for children. That’s why you’re not allowed in there unless you’re over 18 so certainly the parking lot is no exception. We’d rather children not even be on the property.”

The House approved a companion bill that would require casinos to post signs warning of the penalties for leaving children in vehicles.

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