How much gambling is enough? Apparently there were no limits for a mom and dad caught on camera in a high stakes Indian casino at 12:45 a.m. on April 12, 2014. As patrons passed by a weeks-old infant, mom was holding its stroller with one hand while tapping away on the screen of a slot machine with the other. It occurred at the Oneida Turning Stone Casino in upstate New York. Security was promptly notified but nothing could be done because the baby was inches across an imaginary line separating the gaming area from a corridor of the sprawling complex.
That line, however, did not separate the infant from all the cigarette smoke being inhaled into its tiny little lungs. The preciously cute baby was progressing through a crucial period when it will develop exponentially with each passing minute, crucial for the further reason that its parents were squandering resources which could impair the child’s support needs. That imaginary line would also do little to insulate the baby from an angry drunken gambler venting upon anything in the vicinity, a security risk which one employee described as a matter of “when” and not “if.”
When mom was confronted, her stock answer, “This is a resort!” came across well-rehearsed, no doubt the product of numerous inquiries from other concerned patrons. Indeed, complaints from passers-by continued well into the casino’s parking garage where another concerned mom described additional vain efforts to arrest the unfortunate situation. Upon returning once again to memorialize this incredulous event, the scene had changed somewhat. Dad had replaced the mom at the stroller so that her gambling could be continued more effectively with both hands.
The security and staff at this casino are outstanding. Indeed they deserve immense credit for the continuing success of this billion dollar operation. But there was little that could be done with the laws and sovereignty protections applied here because the baby was technically accompanied by an adult in the corridor. Of course, that stretches legal measurement and the definition of adulthood to a whole new level of absurdity. In the end, we were left in awe over the audacity and tenaciousness of two parents who could manage to justify such behavior. Once again, we return to a phrase featured often on Leon Koziol.com: “You just can’t make this stuff up.”