Casino Watch has reported some very tragic statistics regarding child neglect and abandonment when parents choose to leave their children locked in vehicles while they enter a casino to gamble. We hoped to never have to report that such tragedy has happened in our state. Unfortunately, as with all of gambling’s terrible devastation; it’s just a matter of time. KFVS12 Heartland News reports:
A 56-year-old Texas woman decides to go gambling and that decision costs her.
Police say Glenia Roberts of Rock Port, Texas went into the Lady Luck Casino Saturday and left her granddaughters, ages (13) and seven, in the car. When she came back out, the car was gone. Officers say the older girl apparently drove away. Authorties (sic) found the car and the two girls at a nearby park. Roberts pleaded guilty Monday to child endangerment charges. She will serve two days of shock jail time and received a one year jail sentence. The two children are back with family members in Texas.
This woman not only left the children in the car, she left the keys in the car for a 13-year-old girl to drive away. We are truly grateful that so many more people were not hurt during this incident as it’s not hard to imagine the kind of damage a 13-year-old behind the wheel could have caused.
Someone who is willing to do such a selfish and harmful act to a child most likely has a gambling addiction and such acts are simply an extension of the abuse and neglect their family suffers from when such addiction is present:
The 1999 National Gambling Impact Study Commission Report found that compulsive gamblers had higher rates of child abuse and neglect.
“The impact on [the] lives of those poor souls and their families is stunning,” said Timothy Kelley, the commission’s director. “It’s not that they’re bad people. But they’re engaged in an activity that is so powerful that they literally escaped from their own life. They don’t think about their own life. They literally forgot that their child is out in the car dying,” he said.