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Child Abandonment in NZ Casino Triples

Over the past two years the rate of child abandonment at Auckland’s SkyCity has nearly tripled.

Over the past two years the rate of child abandonment at Auckland’s SkyCity has nearly tripled.

In 2009 the number of children found abandoned on the casino grounds was 19, not a low figure but certainly nowhere near the years that followed. In 2010 the number skyrocketed to 46 and grew even further in 2011 to 54.

A 39-year old father and 29-year old mother reportedly left 5 children in the locked family a van while they entered the SkyCity Casino facilities to partake in the establishment’s services. The two are to appear in the Auckland District Court and stand trial.

The two’s lawyer is fighting to obtain permanent name suppression, while the father seeks a discharge without conviction in an effort to keep the incident from his criminal record.

A SkyCity spokesman, Gordon Jon Thompson, urged that the casino maintains a “zero tolerance policy” when it comes to children under 14 being left unaccompanied by an adult. “We take the issue very seriously. We call the police if we discover that a parent [or] guardian has been gaming.”

Security patrols within the casino have reportedly been increase to combat the instances of children roaming the facilities and ending up lost or abandoned by parents. The casino spokesman failed to answer questions regarding the increased rates of child abandonment or whether or not the casino planned on providing child care services for parents who gamble on the casino floor.

OCA News Editor

Jenny McKinnley is OCA’s financial correspondent. After spending years on the trading floor in both NY and London, she offers insight from the inside out on world financial news and events.

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