A Pennsylvania woman was kicked out of the Ocean Downs Casino in Berlin, Maryland for breastfeeding her baby in the lobby.
Alanna Panas said she had been waiting for her boyfriend to return from their Ocean City beach house with the car keys so that she could take her infant daughter Lily to the parking lot and feed her. She had already been sitting with Lily for a while when she decided to feed her to stop her from crying.
A security guard approached Panas soon after she began to feed the baby, and demanded that she leave. “They told me that Lilly was a security threat,” Panas said. Security was reportedly aware that Panas and her daughter were sitting in the lobby before the feeding began. “I wasn’t disturbing anyone,” Panas said. “I wasn’t even in the casino.”
Following the incident, Panas took to a breastfeeding website to share her story. She garnered support from mothers worldwide, and many of them criticized the casino on their Facebook page. The casino issued a response to the incident following the backlash.
“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.”
Panas received a call from casino management, but said that they were unapologetic and repeated earlier claims that the reason she was kicked out was because Lily was under the age of 21, not because Panas was breastfeeding.
“They didn’t even apologize,” Panas said. “That’s the first time there and I will never go back.”