We’ve heard of people getting kicked out of casinos for many reasons, but this latest one is the icing on the cake. Or breast milk on the nipple, if you will. Alanna Panas was nursing her 7-week-old baby outside of Ocean Downs Casino in Maryland last weekend. When it started to rain, the new mother opted to continue feeding her baby inside where it was warm.
‘Inside’ happened to be the casino lobby and as she fed her baby, security took notice and asked her to leave.
When I first came across this story, I sided with the casino. After all, children aren’t allowed on the casino floor, regardless of what they’re doing. So the casino was right to ask Alanna to leave with her baby. But as I dug a little deeper, I learned that this wasn’t the case.
It turns out Alanna was breast-feeding her baby in the lobby of the casino. Technically, babies and children are allowed in the lobby, just not on the casino floor. So Alanna wasn’t breaking any rules.
She did, apparently, make the security guard uncomfortable, which is why he asked her to leave. Unfortunately, she was well within her legal rights to breast feed her child in public.
After scores of pro-breast feeding mothers flooded the casino’s Facebook page with angry posts and concerns, the casino issued this statement:
“The Casino at Ocean Downs strives to make our guests’ experiences enjoyable, and if any member of our team acted in a manner that did not promote that experience, we apologize. We will be reaching out to Ms. Panas directly to discuss her concerns.”
There’s no word yet on whether Ocean Downs has offered Panas any sort of compensation for the incident. Hopefully security gains some training on what constitutes indecent exposure and what doesn’t. And hopefully they gain some clarity on exactly where babies are permitted on the casino floor and where they’re not.
What do you think about all this? Do you think security was right to ask the breast-feeding mom to leave? Or was Alanna right to nurse her child in the casino lobby? Sound off now by commenting or tweeting this article.