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Kids the big losers as parents gamble

In the last 12 months there have been disturbing incidences logged of children left unattended in Queensland's casinos, including an 8 year old child who was abandoned by its VIP punter father in a cafe on the premise of him going to get his keycard from the car to pay the bill. Instead, he slipped away to gamble. Or the case of the father who left his 16 year old and 8 month old in the casino carpark at midnight while he gambled, telling authoriities that "he was only away from the car for five minutes."  Video footage revealed that they were actually left alone in the car for over an hour.

Under the Right to Information, documents revealed that children were left alone 14 times in Brisbane's Treasury Casino last year, up from 12 times in 2012 and 5 in 2011.

A 9 and 11 year old were found at one of the casino's main entrances on Boxing Day last year while their mother and stepfather gambled inside for almost an hour. The mother was excluded and the matter referred to the Child Protection Investigation Unit.

The highest number of cases however was recorded at Jupiters Casino on the Gold Coast. An 11 year old was dumped in the Atrium area for around an hour on January 14 this year while his father went into the casino while an 8 year old was abandoned in the Spinners Restaurant in April by his father who claimed that he had left his keycard in his hotel room and needed it to pay the bill. Yep you guessed it .... CCTV footage revealed that the dad went to "The Club" to gamble instead.

Echo Entertainment Group, which owns and operates both casinos, said it had a "zero tolerance approach" towards the abandonment of children.

A spokeswoman for the group said that any person who "intentionally" left their children unattended faced exclusion from all of their gaming venues.


Source The Courier Mail, November 23 2014