A childcare provider in Oklahoma was recently charged with two counts of neglect after leaving her home to visit a casino while two children, ages four and two, were under her care. Toni Webb, age 38, posted her $50,000 bond but was expected back in court to face the law a few days after charges were made. The children were reportedly found alone in the home by police after a tipster alerted them that Webb had left them unsupervised. According to reports, this was not the first time Webb left her clients' children by themselves. This incident raises the question as to whether other adults, particularly those who may be in the throes of gambling addiction (read more), have left dependents unsupervised in order to pursue their habit.
Kids Quest: Casino Childcare Across the States
In the U.S., one of the most popular casino childcare solutions is a national program called Kids Quest. Kids Quest is an established business that partners with 20 gambling facilities across America. Parents can drop their children off at Kids Quest and then proceed to enjoy several hours of slots and table games while their children participate in supervised karaoke, gym activities, video games, arts and crafts, and more. Kids Quest services are purchased by the hour, so parents can gamble for as long as they please without worry. In addition to babysitting and edutainment services, Kids Quest also offers birthday party packages for families who desire a catered party experience in a casino setting.
Casinos offering Kids Quest services are found in 12 different states:
- Arizona: Cliff Castle in Camp Verde.
- California: Red Hawk Casino in Placerville.
- Connecticut: Mohegan Sun in Uncasville.
- Iowa: Ameristar in Council Bluffs.
- Louisiana: Coushatta Casino in Kinder; Paragon Resort in Marksville.
- Michigan: Four Winds in New Buffalo; the Soaring Eagle in Mt Pleasant.
- Minnesota: Treasure Island in Redwing.
- Mississippi: Harrah's Tunica in Robsinsville.
- Missouri: Ameristar in Kansas City.
- Nevada: Sunset Station in Henderson; Avi Resort in Laughlin; Red Rock, Boulder Station, Santa Fe Station, and Texas Station in Las Vegas.
- New Mexico: Route 66 Casino Hotel in Albuqurque.
- Wisconsin: Ho-Chunk in Baraboo.
Services are available at these locations 24/7 and reservations are not required. As a safety measure, the entrances to all Kids Quest zones are tightly secured. For the health and safety of all involved, most facilities request proof of immunization before a child can enter. Some facilities have a potty-training pre-requisite. Different facilities may apply different limits to the number of hours children may stay and play. Most facilities charge under $10 per hour for services and provide food as well as entertainment.
Kid-Friendly Reno Resorts
Reno, a sister city to Las Vegas, offers a wide array of gambling opportunities where adults certainly belong, yet kids do not. The following gambling hotels in Reno offer certified child care as well as other notable, kid-friendly activities:
Circus Circus: This hotel offers a “Midway of Fun” featuring carnival games and games of skill similar to those found at places like Chuck E. Cheese. Prizes are offered to winners of some of the games. There is also an arcade with over 60 teen-oriented video games.
Grand Sierra Resort: This facility features a swimming pool, bowling alley, and cinema with multiple theaters. Kids can play laser tag, tumble in a bounce house, and choose from a buffet of over 100 arcade games.
Peppermint Hotel: This hotel offers two pools and an arcade with over 100 video games. Some of the games are played for hot prizes like Nintendo Wii.
Other Locations Providing Valuable Service
Kids Quest and Reno are not the only locations where parents can seek dependable childcare while they gamble. Other facilities offer this service as well:
Kids Tyme at Orleans in Las Vegas: This is not a Kids Quest program, but the offerings are similar. Children who visit this play place must stay for at least an hour. The hourly price ranges between $7-8, depending on the day and time. Minors between the ages of 3-12 are accepted and there is a five-hour time limit.
Chinook Casino Winds Resort in Lincoln City, Oregon: At this facility, parents are given a pager while they pursue games on the floor. According to Chinook's website, they may leave their kids in the resort's Play Palace for up to four hours.
Finding a Facility with Childcare: Still Difficult
Many gambling facilities do not offer childcare to patrons. Parents longing to break away and play the slots or table games without the burden of children would be wise to research a particular facility before taking their young ones there. Statistics have indicated that gambling facilities offering childcare do more business and earn more revenue. Because of this, casino babysitting services may be a trend that grows in the future.
Casino Childcare Beckons Customers, Increases Revenue
Casinos that offer childcare appeal to a wide array of clientele and have been statistically shown to reap financial rewards for their efforts. According to Troy Dunkley, CEO of Kids Quest, patrons at facilities offering childcare options, gamble at a rate 34-96 percent higher than average players. Dunkley estimated that a 200-300 return on investment can be seen within the first operating year of programs like Kids Quest. In other words, resorts that create an inviting, safe place for young ones to play while parents relax and have fun can expect to rake in a lot more customers and cash than casinos that don't offer such options.
Whether casino childcare would have prevented Webb from leaving her two charges at home alone is difficult to say. Nevertheless, the option of in-house childcare for people who wish to gamble is a valuable one for families and businesses alike, and could even save a child's life.