Number of Children Abandoned At Casinos Triples

Earlier this year, a couple were arrested after their five children were found locked in a van while they gambled at a local SkyCity Casino. The case was shocking, as the general public looked on in awe, as a couple neglected their children while they fed their addiction. However, the crime is more common than you would think, as the rate of child abandonment at casinos has tripled over the course of the past few years.

Statistics show that 54 children were left in cars while their parents gambled in 2011. In 2010, the number was 46 and in 2009, the number was just 19. This is a shocking discovery for the general public, as it proves that more parents are putting their gambling habits before their children.

These statistics indicate two things. Firstly, there has been an increase in the number of problem gambling addicts across the country. Secondly, those that are addicted are becoming more desperate to feed their addiction. As such, more children across New Zealand are forced to suffer.

The findings come at an ideal time, as the local government attempts to pass the Harm Reduction Bill. This bill is aimed at reducing the number of poker machines across New Zealand in an attempt to curb problem gambling rates.

Gambling Addicted Parents Going to Court

Earlier this year, a van full of children was discovered in the parking lot of a Sky City Casino. The parents had locked the children inside while they went into the gambling venue to play pokies; fortunately, the children were found before any injuries occurred. For some time, it was thought that the parents would only get off with a warning, but it has just been announced that they will see some more serious repercussions.

The parents are likely to be charged with child endangerment and domestic violence. Both of these crimes carry heavy penalties, but some onlookers believe that more needs to be done.

Neglecting children in exchange for taking part in gambling activities occurs more often that we would like to imagine. According to the Department of Internal Affairs, 46 other children had been left alone while their parents went off to gamble.

While the parents are the ones who are punished, it is believed that casino operators should also take on some of the responsibility. Anti-gambling groups believe that casinos like Star City should be expected to encourage responsible gambling among their patrons, preventing such child neglect crimes from occurring.

Sky City in Trouble Again

Sky City Casinos is in the headlines yet again, after another controversy has affected the land-based gambling brand. Recently, five children were found locked in a van while their parents stayed inside the casino and gambled for hours. This case of child neglect has received a great deal of media attention, highlighting the need for better problem gambling programs in New Zealand.

According to reports, the children’s ages ranged between five months and eight years. After they were discovered, the casino’s security freed them and apprehended the parents, who were inside the casino playing pokies. They could face child neglect charges from the local authorities.

Sky City Spokesperson Peter Tracy stated that these situations do occur, but they are rare. He claims that it is not often that parent neglect their children to take part in gambling activities.

The case highlights the need for improved responsible gambling education across the country. While politicians are concerned with controlling how much players gamble, it seems that it is now more important that players are aware of safe gambling strategies and become education on responsible gambling practices.