Come on parents, stop taking your kids to casinos!


Yeah, I know I’ll catch flack from a certain segment of parents out there who will scream from the rafters that we should back off and stop berating them for how they raise their spawn. Maybe even a few who read this blog will let me have it. Well, I just don’t care.

You see, I have had it with improper parenting and so have many people who I know. After traveling across country on a biz trip to Las Vegas for the umpteenth time once again I saw things that made me cringe. The bottom line is how I feel about taking small children to casinos. Stop it. Just stop. Really, parents, STOP bringing your kids to casinos. Sure, Vegas is going through another transition again where they are trying to portray themselves as a cross-breeding science horror experiment of Sin City and Family Friendly, but that still does not mean you should drag little Johnny and Kimmie there for a family vacation. Yes, I know that Vegas features many great spots to eat, terrific shows and entertainment, fabulous resort hotels with awesome pools and amenities, along with things to do off the Strip. Parents that I saw with their kids in tow at all hours of the day and night will argue until their last breath that it’s a wonderful destination to bring the whole family. Sorry, I’m just not buying into it.

Gotta love winning some cash at the slots right off the bat! Vegas treated me well.

Hell yeah, I will be the first to admit that I love Vegas. Been there many times and it’s still one of my favorite cities to party at whether there on business or a personal getaway of debauchery. It never gets old to me, and each time I arrive there is always something new to discover. A headlining big name show, celebrity chef eatery, wonderful bar for cocktails, extravagant casino, etc. This town is an adult Disney Land, and offers everything a grown person needs to get off and live by the motto “what happens in Vegas…..” Perhaps this is why it ethically and morally bothers me when I see parents dragging their little kids through smoke-filled casinos. Past throngs of people gambling their paychecks away. Hanging around those drinking and being inappropriate. Being exposed to suspect patrons participating in almost every vice known to man of which you should really be shielding your youngsters eyes from. No reason to expose them to this stuff at a young age. They’ll have more than enough time to do it all themselves as they reach adulthood. Leave the bad vices to us already in adultland to enjoy. It’s our own choice to engage in them or not.


There are hundreds and perhaps thousands of locations to take your kids to in this great country of ours for a fun vacation. Yup, I hear ya when you say you’re sick of Disney World and it’s super expensive now. But let’s be real. Vegas is not cheap anymore either. The better casino hotels can become just as costly when you add in the room, food, travel, and entertainment expenses, not to mention the amount you’ll probably blow at the casino. Long gone are the $5.99 prime rib dinner specials. Expect to pay inflated casino rates on most everything. Now here’s the rub. This generation of parents just don’t seem to be into the old-fashioned wholesome vacations or family getaways as in the past. Many parents still want to party like when they were single, wild, and child free. Don’t tell me that when they asked their kids where they wanted to go they jumped up and screamed “let’s go to a casino!” The parents are selfishly making this decision and disguising it as a family vacation. I see through the chicanery here. It’s mainly for the parental units, and they throw in a few things for the kids to do along with their own gambling and partying, and then proclaim they all had a super time!


Now, I know not all parents are like this. Some do go to spots like Vegas and Atlantic City with their kids and actually do many things outside of the casinos. They will score some comp rooms or decent rate deals and use the more kid friendly amenities. Maybe take them shopping or to see an appropriate show. Head to the beach and boardwalk in AC. Then again I have seen horrible parents who will gamble on the casino floor and leave their kids sitting in the lobby alone, half asleep, bored, and waiting for them to get done. In the wee hours of the morning. Oh yes, I have seen this firsthand up at the two well-known large Connecticut casinos. It’s both a sad and disgusting sight. Some parents should have never been allowed to breed as they lack a much-needed responsiblity gene.


Maybe viewing things like this have made me so against bringing children to casinos. I just find it wrong on so many levels. Then again, I am also one of those New Yorkers who hate when I see parents bring their kids to bars. Heck, I know mommy and daddy need a drink now and then, but not in the bars I am hanging out in getting my buzz on. No one really wants to be getting their drink on surrounded by little kids and crying babies. There are more than enough places other than the local watering holes where parents can take their kiddies on a weekend afternoon.

Well, that’s my rant for the week. Take it or leave it. What are your thoughts on this subject? Agree or disagree? Is this a morals thing or just the way parents are nowadays?

57 thoughts on “Come on parents, stop taking your kids to casinos!”

  1. I bitched out a set of parents who had schlepped their 5-y-o to one of the Spiderman movies; which was PG-13. Kid would NOT be quiet so I actually turned around to the parentals, who also allowed this kid to kick the back of my chair incessantly, and told them to PLEASE SHUT HIM UP! To which they answered, “He’s FIVE!”. My response was that they should have waited until it came out on DVD so they could enjoy his yammering through the movie alone and not annoy people.

    My husband swears I’m gonna start a fight, but I cannot stand parents who don’t teach their kids manners & parents who take kids out to things for which they’re too young. FUNK THAT! 😉

    1. Hey Lorien!

      Thanks for dropping by and commenting! I hear ya! I have also seen parents here in NYC drag little kids and baby strollers to R-rated movies at 11pm. What is wrong with some of these parental idiots?

  2. We raised four kids. Of course we didn’t have a lot of money. But we took them camping instead of casinos and to visit relatives instead of bars. The sad part is that you’re probably preaching to the choir. The ones who are doing this are the very last ones who’ll listen to the voice of reason.

    1. Hey Barb!

      My parents did the same kinds of things with us. Vacations were spent at fun kid places, amusement parks, or even educational ones like Washington DC. I never entered a casino until I was in my twenties. Some parents today are a joke.

  3. As a parent, I could not agree more. The number of kids I see wandering around Foxwoods at all hours makes me nuts. I’m a big poker player, but my daughter was almost 20 years old the first time I even brought her to a card room (legal at 18 in NH). My son has never seen the inside of a casino, thank goodness.

    1. Hey Cassandra!

      So, you know what I mean by Foxwoods. It’s a sad sight there. I almost want to call child protective services and have their parents confronted right on the casino floor.

  4. I completely agree… WHYYY would anyone even think of taking their kid to a casino? It’s not fun for them, and it’s not fun for you. Also I’m surprised they’re even allowed in… I went on a roadtrip with my parents and siblings when I was young and one stop was Las Vegas, and I remember us actually getting ushered through a casino at the hotel and out the other side because my brother was so young . I guess that doesn’t happen anymore?!

    1. Hey Lydia!

      They are supposed to not allow kids on the casino floors. Usually though at many casinos you need to walk through them to get to the elevators to your rooms. It’s the parents that bring them here to gamble then leave the kids in the lobby somewhere that bothers me. Especially too with the smoking and drinking going on. Just rubs me the wrong way.

  5. Sadly I agree. It is all to common that people take the easy way out of a situation. Can’t find or afford a baby-sitter, that’s okay, little Sally can sit on the floor and watch people drink and gamble. Few people will stand up and point out bad behavior or those lacking character in some manner. Heaven forbid that someone actually discipline a child.

    1. Hey Shawn!

      Thanks for dropping by and commenting!

      Yup – that is just what I am talking about. If you say something to the parents they shrug you off or get all belligerent about it. I feel bad for those kids.

  6. Hi Phil, Agreed. Children do not belong in Casino’s though I don’t know how many options for activities are currently designed for children in Vegas. On the flip side, children have actually died because parents left their children in cars, for hours, while they went gambling. I know this does not fall in the “vacation” category, but heck there is the Grand Canyon and Mount Rushmore, and coastal destinations from sea to shining sea. Plenty of other places to see it seems….

    1. Hey Peggy!

      Nope, they don’t belong there. Yes, in Vegas there are some things to do off the Strip that you can take them too, but I still view this city as an “adult” playground. I wish parents would let us adults have one spot to call our own and not brings kids there. There are plenty of other vacation destinations to being kids other than a smoke and booze filled casino.

    2. you are talking about a very small number of people who do these things. My wife and I do take our kids for overnight stays in casinos. We take them to the pool, the restaurants, etc which means you do have to walk through the casino floor. They ask questions about the casinos and what they are and we answer them. I don’t find it to be much of a big deal. At night, while they sleep, my wife might go play for a few hours while I stay with the kids. The next night, I might go and play. We do this also in Niagara Falls and Vegas, mainly because the casino gives us free nights the whole stay. In the day time, I play golf with my boys while my wife goes to the spa. In the evening, we find kid appropriate things to do like the magic shows, putt putt, circus circus or excalibur games and rides, etc. Sorry to say but I disagree with many of you. Maybe a little too conservative in your opinion about what a family trip is. I always thought it was time for a family to spend time together. This is exactly what we do.

  7. Really?… It seems quite odd to me…. I would have said it was forbidden, but it seems it is not the case… Kids nowadays are so evolved, though…. When it comes to comparations I can feel my childhood was quite wild and naive… 😛
    Have a wonderful weekend dear Phil… Best to you. Aquileana 😀

    1. Hey Aquileana!

      It’s just common sense to me that a parent shouldn’t bring kids to casinos. No need to expose them to that element at a young age. Yet, parents nowadays don’t care.

    1. Hey Darcy!

      I hate those kinds of parents! They just can’t get over the fact that they have babies, children, and baby carriages in tow, and yet they have to push their way into the crowds with them in places they really shouldn’t be. Some parents just won’t accept the fact that they are parents and their party days are over for a while.

  8. Phil – couldn’t agree more…. there’s a time and a place for kids and casinos (and bars, and probably strip clubs, too) aren’t on the list. i’d never dream of taking a kid to any of these, but then I have common sense…. which is not the case for those you have encountered. I deal with a great deal of silly parental behavior (I have kids AND I teach 8th grade) and often shake my head and move on my way. You just can’t fix stupid! Have a great day – a great week – and a wonderful spring!

    1. Hey Clay!

      It drives me nuts when I see parents bring babies and kids to bars here in NYC.

      Now, if hey bring them to strip clubs it’s time to call the cops, or Jerry Springer show! As a teacher you must see some winners as parents!

      Have a great weekend!

  9. What happened to having to be 18 to enter a casino? I don’t get it. That is VERY sad. Though, if they did restrict kids, sadly, the parents would leave them alone and unattended in their hotel rooms and still go gambling.

    1. Hey Brickhouse!

      Sadly, many parents just don’t care anymore, or have any common sense.

      I have read many times where parents leave the kids in the room while they go gambling. Idiots.

  10. I totally hear you Phil but I thought children weren’t allowed in casinos anyway, and exposing your child to smoke and gambling is pretty irresponsible.

    I’ll admit to being in Vegas with our then 9 year old son, but absolutely NOT in a casino or anywhere near smoking, drinking, or gambling. We were actually on a 4-week-road-trip around the west coast travelling through California, Utah, Arizona, and Nevada and yes, we did a 3 day stop-over in Vegas as we had never ever been to America before and we wanted to see what all the hype was about! I had instructed my travel agent from Germany to book us into a non-gambling, non-smoking, off-strip hotel. She did. And it was expensive but splendid. I am a British – German blogger so I researched the more “family-friendly” venues which we did in the daytime. We spent considerable time at various family shows, the Hoover Dam, and brunches around town.

    In the late afternoon, only my husband and I went to a casino and we were there for exactly 1.5 hours as I particulary wanted to go to a casino featured on a series on German TV – it was Caesars’ Palace – after that, we all dressed up and went to a medieval horse-racing show!

    We didn’t go out late at night so I can’t say what the situation is, I can only say that we were more than satisfied with what we saw during the day (as this was a family vacation) and for entertainment, our hotel had it’s own very trendy bar and disco on the top floor. So we did that, and took advantage of the views instead LOL!

    1. Hey Victoria!

      At least it sounds like you were responsible and did the right thing. I have stayed off-Strip in Vegas at some nice non-casino hotels myself. The shows are great fun, and the Hoover Dam is just an amazing engineering feat.

      Yes, those views from a Vegas rooftop are terrific!

  11. Craziness! I completely agree with you Phil. Its heart breaking to see the poor kids bored to tears while their parents play “just one more” game.

    1. Hey Holli!

      I know, right? Kills me when I see those kids sitting on a bench in the lobby waiting for mommy and daddy to finish playing the slots.

  12. I completely agree. Casinos are adult entertainment. Period.

    And, off on a whole nuther tangent, this weekend my husband parked our car next to another car with loud blaring rap music. As he only needed one thing from the store, I stayed in the car. When I heard phrases like “muther F*$*%$ and other hard core swear words blaring from the radio, I chanced a glance to see who was listening to this mad form of “art” in the vehicle next to me. It was a relatively young man with 2 small children in the back seat. I’m guessing he was their – and I use this term lightly – father. My mouth dropped open and I literally had to use my hands to clamp it back shut.

    What. The. Hell?

    People should have to take and pass with 100% accuracy standardized tests before applying for parenthood and pass a DNA screening before procreating. That kind of nonsense is messed up and it’s creating a next generation of idiots.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    1. Hey Patricia!

      I’m not even a parent yet I do know better. Personally, I’m not a rap music fan and think a lot of it is garbage. Especially the stuff that is full of nothing but nasty words and offensive slang. Really? That is what these “artists” call be creative?

      Today’s parents leave a lot to be desired. Yes, they all should take a stupidity test first.

    2. I would love to see a society that would require birth control until certain criteria, including financial and social, are met. I bet that lots of problems we are having today would be almost non-existant in a few generations, if not sooner.

      Call me radical, but…

  13. What on earth possesses someone to bring kids to somewhere they won’t enjoy thus ensuring that the parents don’t enjoy it either? Morons.

    1. Hey Claire!

      Thanks for dropping by and commenting!

      So many parents today are just selfish and spoiled. I think they just want to live in a fabulous reality tv world and do anything they want, kids or not.

  14. We took our kids to Vegas and had a blast. There was tons to do as a family. You may have seen us in the casino gambling our entire fortune of $20.00 in quarters. I can’t believe looking back that neither of my children didn’t become gamblers….. 🙂

    1. Hey Susie!

      Hah! $20 fortune. You’re a high roller!

      Sure, there are some things to do as a family there, but I still don’t agree with taking them to casinos. Other parents bring them there so they can gamble, and the kid friendly things are an afterthought. My mom hooked me into gambling when I hit my twenties. I still don’t know how she wins so much playing pennies.

  15. I remember going to see a PG13-rated movie in the afternoon (sexual content, language, partial nudity, drug use, etc). And there was a mother in there. With a child who couldn’t have been more than 4 years old. Asking questions such as “Why are they fighting? What are they doing? What’s that word mean?”

  16. I want to know why anyone would want to bring their kids to Vegas. Responsibility totally cramps your style in Vegas, in fact Vegas is about forgetting responsibility. We went when my kids were little. There were 3 couples. We all got a live in babysitter and went off on our own. So much fun, and it wouldn’t have been with the kids in tow.

    1. Hey Karen!

      Yes, you get it! Why would anyone want to be responsible in Vegas? Drink, gamble, party, do lecherous things, and love the debauchery of it all. Getting a babysitter was a great idea. You did it right.

  17. I remember being 13 and thus old enough to explore Circus Circus. At the time that was the ONLY casino I was allowed into. And I remember being really, really bored and wondering why anyone wanted to go to a casino.

    I’m sure Vegas is trying to market to parents who want to believe their kids would like it, but I’m not one of them. However, my biggest pet peeve is the movie thing. DON’T take your 3 year old to a PG movie. Just don’t. It freaks me out, worrying that you’re scarring their psyche, and generally irritates the crap out of everybody.

    I’m really not a fan of going anywhere where there are bratty kids. I’m a parent and I work hard to not make her a brat so people actually want to see her when she comes around. If your kid is acting like an a-hole, you need to take them to the bathroom or outside so the rest of us (several of whom went out to get away from their kids) don’t have to listen to them.

    1. Hey Jenny!

      Circus Circus is a trippy place. It’s the Jerry Springer Show of casinos!

      It seems the movie thing is striking a chord with many who are posting replies here. I’m with you. Don’t bring little kids to movies they should not be at. Period.

      If you’re kids are raised right people will be fine around them. If they are wild screaming annoying brats people will want to kill you.

  18. Couldn’t agree more! Vegas definitely isn’t for kids, it’s just not in the concept. And why would you drag your kids to Vegas, when there are so many, more appropriate places to go?

    1. Hey Mitzie!

      Exactly! With so many other places to go on vacation why take kids to Vegas? Wait until they are of gambling age at least and then you can have some fun with them there.

  19. I totally agree Phil.

    I’ve only been to Vegas once and was surprised to see families in tow. I’ve not explored all the facilities for kids but none caught my eye.

    I’m very surprised if kids are allowed on the casino floors, is that allowed to happen?

    For me, Las Vegas is an adult’s playground.

    1. Hey Guy!

      As far as I know children are not allowed on the gaming floors. To me anywhere there are casinos should be an adult only experience.

  20. I skimmed through some of the comments above, and I dont recall seeing anything regarding financial reasons for a “family” trip to a casino. It may just be the customer base of where Ive worked the past 18 years, but most of the time kids are there because there is nothing else the adults can afford. There are a couple of family resorts in the area most of our guests come from. Acres and acres with activities, games, etc for all ages, but they run about $300/night, year round just for the room. Spend $100 one night at the casino and get comped 2 nights at the hotel. The kids love the pool, but there is literally nothing else to do, and even if there was, they likely couldnt afford it. Looking at the amount of groceries brought in Walmart bags, 12 packs of drinks, and sometimes cooking devices, its pretty obvious that they cant afford to eat at any of the properties restaurants. I understand that it is expensive to feed kids, but thats part of going somewhere. Often I see one or two adult females with 5-8 kids ranging from almost newborn to 15 in tow – in one room. I also see couples with their 2-4 children pile out of a car that I dont know how it was mechanically able to make it or how the driver could afford fuel. These are the ones that have all the groceries. I get grandmother liking her crackers or something small, but when it looks like there is more money spent on food than there is brought to gamble, theres a problem.

    Sometimes Ill go spend a few dollars after my shift and see the two adults of the group on the casino floor at all hours of the night, children unattended. Twice in my relatively short time here, a child was left with the grandparents in the room and left the room. Of course a 4 year old doesnt know room numbers, so he wanders the hall until someone finds him or momma/daddy come back and Jr is missing. More recently, an autistic child got away from his sleeping father in the hotel and took about 15 minutes to find. These are the ones that staff was involved with and that I know about. No way to tell how many we dont hear about.

    I get that times do change, and parenting has changed with it, but I honestly think it has to do with a class of people that probably shouldnt financially, but do, frequent casinos. The majority of guests are pleasant individuals, and can afford it, but the rest more than do their fare share of reinforcing negative stereotypes of problem gamblers and their overall poor decision making.

    1. Hey Eddie!

      Thanks for the well thought out comment. My thinking is this – if most people can afford to toss away hundreds of dollars gambling they can surely afford a family resort stay. Let’s be real, not everyone gets comped rooms and meals. Most people do not win. They are losing and spending more than they are winning. It’s just a selfish thing to expose young children to this.

  21. I’m not a witness of this parent bringing their kids thing, but I’m one of those kids whom my parents always bring me to the casino. They’ll always bring me and my sisters to a room they rented and leave us their to go to the casino downstairs. They brought us here three times during Thanksgiving break, which is nine days long. I can’t live much more longer with this happening. I’m too impatient to wait three years until I have the right to stay home. Whenever we argue with them about going they say that they don’t want people breaking into the house and they think we are irresponsible with food and cleaning. Not only you guys are tired of parents bringing their kids but the kids are also tired too. The only way to get out of this is by gaining rights. One day if I’m done with college then I’ll get my little sister to move in my house. When I’m 18 and they try to bring me to the casino, then I have the right to say no. But since I’m not 18 yet, I’m tired of being brought to the casino. I just wish they would stop. It’s just pissing me off!

  22. You made your point with the many commandments to “stop it.” Casinos are not a kid friendly place, as you claim. Your frustration is understandable.

  23. Me and my wife are bringing our nearly 3 year old daughter to Vegas for 4 nights before we fly to Mexico for a further 8 nights from england. There is no way we will be taking her to a smoke filled casino so we can gamble. What we are doing is a helicopter ride over hover damn and the grand canyon. Also booked tickets for the open top tour bus to see and explore the city and tickets for the big wheel. Also looking forward to seeing many other sites in Vegas with our daughter but will be trying our best to keep her away from all the casinos unless we have to walk through one… the last thing I would want is my daughter in a smoke filled casino. Very irresponsible

    1. Hello Ray,

      Thanks for dropping by and commenting. Your plan sounds so cool. That should be an amazing view from a helicopter. Doing those other things are so much better when with children. Leave the casinos to the adults.

  24. A little late to the party but I am a Vegas local & have bitched & complained to the casinos & LVCVA ( LasVegasConvention&Visitors) to crack down on children in casinos. And the teenagers loitering around too!
    Until these parents start getting fined or arrested it will not stop. Lets face it to them these kids are a paycheck to gamble away every month, nothing more.
    Its even worse at the Tribal places on the west coast. People pull the kids out of school & leave them screaming at the pool for everyone to enjoy!
    Your best bet? Harrahs Laughlin….adults only tower pool & hot tub!!

    1. Hi Mel,

      Thanks for reading and commenting. I agree, as unless the casinos themselves become more strict and aware of this and crack down on it nothing will change.

      Adults only casinos would be so great!

  25. I am actually shocked about the conservatism! My boys (8 & 10) are from Amsterdam. They’ve seen plenty, red light district, gambling, drinking, smoking, drug use.

    Not saying it is good for them, but isnt part of parenting showing them ALL sides of society? The good, the bad, the ugly?

    You cannot expect your kids to make the right choices if you protect them from all evil. Just show them what is out there, talk about it and tell them the pros and cons. Both of my boys think gambling is stupid, because they know the house has the edge. They know smoking kills and they know that the root of all evil is alcohol (and religion).

    We are going to enjoy the sun, the amusement, the lights and everything else Vegas has to offer. As a family.

Feel free to comment! We all have opinions!