Breastfeeding Mom shocked after Maryland Casino kicks her out

Alana Panas was recently kicked out of Maryland’s Ocean Downs casino after breastfeeding her seven-week-old baby on the gaming floor. And this simple incident has now turned into a national outrage since the story has gone viral.

In fact, Panas herself can’t believe the way that she was treated by Ocean Downs security. “I was in shock, I could not believe that was happening. I was just trying to feed my daughter, I was not trying to take her gambling or anything,” she told CBS Baltimore.

According to Ocean Downs, they kicked the nursing mother out because they don’t allow anybody under the age of 21 on their gaming floor. However, they’ve since issued an apology via Twitter that reads, “We strive to make our guest’s experience enjoyable. If any member of our team acted in a manner that doesn’t promote that, we’re sorry.”

Panas is not touched by the apology and explains that Oceans Downs staff members told her that she was seen as a “security threat.” According to her story, she, her parents and her boyfriend went to the casino after a family dinner. It was Panas’ first time in a casino and she never actually set foot on the gaming floor. When her infant began crying, she nursed it in the corner of the lobby while waiting for her boyfriend to bring the car keys. It was at this point that Oceans Downs security approached Panas and asked her to leave.

The story has appalled many women, especially considering that Maryland is one of 46 stats that have specific laws allowing women to breastfeed in public. Stephanie Amsler, who leads a local support group for breastfeeding mothers, says that it’s not entirely uncommon for businesses to kick nursing mothers out. However, she also points out that Maryland law allows women to breastfeed their children in public places.

“The law protects mothers who choose to breastfeed in public,” Amsler said. “That choice to breastfeed in a restaurant, store park, mall or any other public place is up to the mother and her baby.”

Ocean Downs has not tweeted anything else regarding the incident. However, there are numerous comments under their original tweet (posted to Facebook), with many expressing outrage at how Panas was treated.

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