LIVERMORE -- The woman who left her two small children in a car while she gambled at a Livermore casino will now face felony child abuse charges, Alameda County prosecutors said Tuesday.
Phaley Nget, 37, of Oakland, was arrested July 20 after she left her two daughters, ages 2 and 3, locked inside a car while she gambled at Casino 580. When police arrived, they found the children strapped inside their car seats and crying.
Although it was already evening, the temperature inside the car was 81 degrees, police said. When Livermore police officers went inside the casino to try to find Nget, she pretended to not recognize her children, walking right past the officers. She then ran across the street to where her car was parked, telling police she had been inside for five minutes to use the bathroom.
Investigators say Nget was inside for 26 minutes and have footage of her gambling at several tables. She had $80 in chips when she was arrested.
The case is just the latest of Bay Area mothers who have left their children in sweltering cars while they gambled, including a woman who left her 10- and 1-year-old in a car at the Graton Resort & Casino in Rohnert Park this June. She has been charged with child endangerment.
It may seem that casinos and children don't mix. But in recent years, some casinos have begun to offer child care, charging about $7 to $10 an hour. Some casinos say doing so boosts the bottom line by attracting new customers while serving as "backup child care" for casino employees. Neither Casino 580 or Graton Casino offer child care.
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