Searching for Solutions for Kids Left in Cars: Kids Quest Offers Hourly Childcare For Casino Visitors

Posted By Katie Kohler on August 2, 2021

Someone ends up on the involuntary exclusion list at nearly every monthly Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board meeting because they left a child in a car at a casino’s parking lot. In 2020, 21 children were left abandoned in vehicles at casinos in PA. It should be noted that casinos were closed a third of the year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

PGCB Commissioner Sean Logan gets visibly angered each time an instance of a child left in a car is brought before the board. He has urged the board and casinos to take action especially since in most cases, a casino patron, and not security, finds the child.

““For the life of me, I can’t see how someone leaves their kid or kids in a car unattended to go into a casino. It obviously hasn’t curtailed. It always seems like it’s 20, 30, 40 minutes. A whole hell of a lot of bad can happen in that time.”

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution to this problem. But perhaps there are some options such as Kids Quest at Wind Creek Casino.

Wind Creek only PA casino with childcare

Kids Quest offers hourly child care, activities, an arcade and family entertainment. They have twenty locations across the country at casinos including Wind Creek in Bethlehem.

In 2010, representatives from the Plymouth, Minnesota-based Kids Quest began contacting Pennsylvania casinos about bringing hourly child care to their casinos

Ann Zenor, director of development for Kids Quest, said they saw a pattern of incidents at certain casino properties in PA and reached out to casino executives, department leadership, and public relations officials. In addition, Kids Quest sent inquiries to some state legislators.

“We didn’t gain much traction until we were contacted by Bob DeSalvio, (president of Sands Bethlehem, now Wind Creek). As a veteran in the gaming industry, Bob was familiar with our concepts and quickly put a contract in place to offer our services to their casino guests,” Zenor commented to PlayPennsylvania.

Prior to being named Wind Creek Casino’s Executive Vice President and General Manager, Kathy McCracken served as the Executive Vice President of Marketing and Operations. She said:

“We always felt that it was a great answer for our customers. If you come and stay for a weekend and need babysitting service, it’s right there. If you want to go to dinner and a show, you can bring your child to Kids Quest. From the beginning when they approached us, it made so much sense. It’s a really common sense approach to how you can handle things.”

The first and only Kids Quest/Cyber Quest opened in Pennsylvania in June 2014. There are none in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The only other Kids Quest on the East Coast is at Mohegan Sun in Connecticut.

What is Kids Quest?

At Wind Creek, there is a shared lobby for hourly care check-ins for children ages 6 weeks through 12-years-old at Kids Quest. Public access to the family-friendly Cyber Quest arcade is next door.

Kids Quest features:

  • A multi-level Quest climbing structure,
  • Sports Zone gym and a toddler gym
  • Arcade games
  • Creation Station for arts and crafts
  • Video game kiosks
  • A virtual reality experience
  • Karaoke stage.
  • Meals, snacks, and beverages are available for purchase.

This Kids Quest location also has three dedicated party rooms for hosting birthdays and other special events. Next door at Cyber Quest, visitors can play arcade games and win prizes. Each Kids Quest is independently owned and operated. Potential employees are subject to criminal background checks and drug tests. Teammates trained in CPR and first aid are on-duty at all times.

A possible solution for kids left in cars

There have been instances where a child is left in a car at Wind Creek Casino.

Do you think Kids Quest is a solution for the problem of kids being left alone in cars at casinos

“We feel our existence on-property is definitely a mitigating factor,” said Zenor. “Unfortunately, having a Kids Quest on property is no guarantee that the parent/adult will elect to check their children in with us, but we find that when given the option, they choose to utilize our services. Our mission is to keep minors safe and engaged in fun—while adults explore our host properties, worry-free. To that end, we do our best to keep our services affordable and plan great activities and events that children will enjoy.” 

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Katie Kohler

Katie Kohler is a Philadelphia-area based award-winning journalist. She is the Managing Editor at PlayPennsylvania and covers the Pennsylvania gambling industry with an emphasis on sports betting, online casino/poker and the lottery.

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