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Taking Your Kids to a Casino

In my last post, I criticized the idea of the Tropicana eDeck, and compared having your children with you while gambling to images of Marge Simpson letting Baby Maggie loose in a casino. I’ve since discovered that there is a worse option. The Associated Press is reporting that Edwine Louissaint, 33 and David Augustin, 34 left two children, aged ten and one, in their car in the Foxwoods parking lot while they went inside to gamble. Cantor Gaming, all is forgiven. If parents are so addicted to gambling that they’ll leave their children unattended in the car if that’s the only way they can get their fix, then the eDeck is at least a step above that. At least your child won’t accidentally die of heatstroke or be kidnapped while you’re getting your fix.

For that matter, online casinos look better and better. The kids can be asleep in their beds and their parents can get their fix online. Of course, if you bring the casino into Augustin and Louissaint’s home, they might forget to feed the kids dinner.

The press is reporting that the parents were arrested and arraigned. Louissaint was released on bail, but the children were placed in protective custody. Lieutenant Paul Vance, chief spokesman for the Connecticut State Police said “We have a very strict law relative to this sort of thing. People think they can leave their kids in hotel rooms or otherwise unattended. But that is a big no-no in Connecticut.’’

So here’s the questions, Lieutenant Vance. Do the hotels offer babysitting? Do the police go room to room checking if there are children alone? There’s a real disconnect here. People who have gambling problems are often unable to relate consequences to their actions. They’ll think that they can hit the casino floor for a few minutes while the kids are sleeping, but a few minutes will turn into a few hours. Let’s face it, it happens to all of us, and not just with gambling. Ever play only one game of solitaire or freecell on your computer? Ever eat one potato chip?

What are the options for parents vacationing with their children if they want to hit the casino floor? Are they forced to take turns taking care of the children? What if you’re a single parent? Maybe the reality here is simpler. If you’re a parent, you shouldn’t be planning your vacation around gambling. You might go to a destination with a casino and plan to take a little spin on the casino floor while your partner or a babysitter watches the kids, but if you’re vacationing with the kids, try doing something they can do. Save the gambling for your adults-only vacations.

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