View Full Version : Gettysburg Casino Update

04-04-2006, 12:45 PM

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette today.

Just as some of us have feared. Gettysburg Borough council is for it.

GETTYSBURG, Pa. -- Gettysburg's borough council voted last night to support a proposed slot-machine gambling parlor near the historic Civil War battlefield in exchange for a $1 million-per-year revenue guarantee.

The prospect of a casino just outside town and near Gettysburg National Military Park has drawn a firestorm of opposition from preservationists and some area residents.

As a result of the 7-3 vote, the council's president will testify in favor of the proposed casino tomorrow at a public hearing. That hearing in Gettysburg will be the first of 18 days of testimony that gambling regulators will hold around the state on nearly two dozen casino proposals.

Opponents of the would-be casino labeled the money a "bribe," but Council President Ted Streeter contended it would help the borough improve its police capabilities and social services to deal with an influx of millions of gamblers and potentially reduce property taxes.

"If that's selling out, I gladly plead guilty," Mr. Streeter told a packed borough meeting hall during more than 90 minutes of debate and public comment.

Council member **** Peterson called the offer of money "too little, too late."

"This attempt to buy our votes will not influence my personal opinion," Mr. Peterson said.

Jeff Ernico, an attorney for the casino applicant, Crossroads Gaming Resort and Spa LP, said the money guarantee is predicated on the borough council's support of its application for a license. Under the agreement, Crossroads will guarantee that Gettysburg gets $1 million annually.

The state's slot-machine gambling law sets aside a 4 percent cut of slots revenue for the host municipality and county. If Gettysburg is unable to get $1 million from that, then Crossroads will make up that difference, Mr. Ernico said.

Crossroads Gaming CEO David LeVan welcomed the council's endorsement as "helpful," but said it wouldn't "make or break the deal."

The site of the proposed casino was of relatively minor importance in the three-day battle that turned the tide of the Civil War -- some Confederate troops gathered there before heading off to fight.

The borough meeting drew dozens of people wearing buttons and T-shirts, and carrying signs in support and opposition of the casino.

As in most things, $$ talks. Those of us who don't have lots of it know that. All is not lost, though. The Pa. Gaming commission won't award the licenses for some time, and there are more venues wanting a casino than licenses to be allowed.

Maybe we can get the Amish to apply for a license?

That was a joke....


04-04-2006, 03:11 PM
What can we do now????

04-04-2006, 08:39 PM
What can we do now????

Seems there are two general choices:

One: Take your lead from McClellan, Burnside, and Hooker. Withdraw behind the river line and lick our wounds, complaining that we're outnumbered, or

Two: Be like Grant and turn towards the enemy, keeping the pressure on him. Be willing to use, and be used by, those legitimate groups on the same side of the issue.

In a similar vein, does anyone have information on how the Gettysburg area itself is divided on this issue? Any polling data or other indicators on how the locals shake out on all this?

04-04-2006, 11:25 PM
As I have said several times before:

The 2nd Golden Rule: He who has the gold makes the rules.

04-16-2006, 11:02 PM
:twisted: I say Grant. Lets kick some money hungry,history destroying, unrespectful sorry bunch of yahoos Asses. Aim the cannons at um :)

bill watson
04-17-2006, 12:35 PM
Lots of people have gold. More people who have gold are competing for licenses than there are licenses. So in this case, somebody who has the gold isn't going to make the rule. Every little bit of opposition against a casino in Gettysburg improves the odds for all the folks elsewhere.

A little Machiavelli here, too: The enemy of my enemy is my friend. All the folks who want to put freestanding slot parlors elsewhere in Pennsylvania are of necessity competitors -- enemies -- with the Gettysburg proposal. And surely the case can be made that every one of those other venues is a better place for such a thing than Gettysburg? (Even if you are opposed to gambling as gambling, you can still make that argument.)

As for the Gettysburg town council -- keep in mind they personally haven't been bought off. What they've got is a better deal for the town's treasury should this go through -- the slots people have promised a minimum amount for the town higher than what might actually be required by the complicated formula devised by lawmakers. I don't like any more than the next guy, but let's not make it a matter of personal avarice when it's actually a case of avarice on behalf of constituents.....

And as a practical matter, there is little a municipal or county jurisdiction can do about it if the state approves a slot parlor. They can drag their feet on building permits, they can be nasty and whatnot, but if they step over a line they'll be in court in half a day, brought there by a developer getting a restraining order against biased enforcement of codes.

The legislative leadership of the Republican and Democratic parties in Harrisburg -- those are the men to whom all the outrage should be directed. They are the power brokers in Harrisburg and they are, very specifically, the powers behind the gaming commission. The appointees are their puppets.

04-18-2006, 02:58 PM
You are very right about other groups. Here in the Lehigh Valley we have the Sands group wanted to put casinos in on the old Bethlehem Steel property. While some groups would consider that a good thing, the county government and others have plans for something much better for the community and the environment fro the same area if the Sand's proposal falls through and they sell their controlling interests. Unfortunately Sands bought their controlling interest before the current county adminstration came into office. While I would not want to see a casino in the Gettysburg area, if the last two selectinos were Gettysburg and the Lehigh Valley, I would rather see the casino in Gettysburg. as Gettysburg is about preserving our past while the Lehigh Valley is about preserving our future.

04-18-2006, 06:39 PM
While I would not want to see a casino in the Gettysburg area, if the last two selections were Gettysburg and the Lehigh Valley, I would rather see the casino in Gettysburg. as Gettysburg is about preserving our past while the Lehigh Valley is about preserving our future.

A wonderful example of the conumdrum we face between our desire to preserve our history and to insure our future. We too often try to make it out as a battle between Good and Evil (we're always the former), and forget that there are good people on both sides of any such issue who can have conflicting stakes in the results.

04-21-2006, 11:28 PM
While I would not want to see a casino in the Gettysburg area, if the last two selections were Gettysburg and the Lehigh Valley, I would rather see the casino in Gettysburg. as Gettysburg is about preserving our past while the Lehigh Valley is about preserving our future.


I shouldnít think that preserving the future of the Lehigh Valley is an issue. When the Rt 33 extension from Rt 22 to I-78 was completed a couple of years ago, the painted lines on the highway werenít even dry yet when light industry and housing developments sprang up along side of the highway. The Lehigh Valley is making an economic recovery after the demise of Bethlehemís trademark steel industry. Farm after farm after farm along Rt 33 have been sold to developers, and bulldozers roar nearly around the clock.

I canít think of anything in the Lehigh Valley that people point to as being a signal event in Americaís history. Bethlehem already turns itself into a circus several times a year with Musikfest (an entire week's worth), the Celtic Classic and the Christmas festival. Let them build a casino on the site of the old steelworks. It wonít hurt the area. It wonít harm the ambience. It wonít detract from history. And traffic canít possibly get much worse.

No casino in Gettysburg!


04-23-2006, 12:32 AM
Actually the casino site could interfere with the Lehigh Valley getting a research center for developing renewable energy technologies. Given the very real threat of global warming to impact our civiilization by the end of this century, yes a casino in the Lehigh Valley could have a very negative impact on the future of us and our children. It is all a matter of individual priiorities.