Gettysburg casino hearing on Tuesday
A Gettysburg hotel is the setting Tuesday for a renewed debate on a proposed gambling casino a half-mile south of the country’s most famous Civil War battlefield. A similar scene took place four years ago when the same businessman tried to obtain a gambling license for a casino just east of the battlefield.
Hundreds have registered to testify before the Pennsylvania Gambling Control Board at the Comfort Suites beginning at 10 a.m. Among those opposed are the country’s two biggest membership organizations, the Civil War Preservation Trust and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. A letter signed in July by 278 historians who are also opposed to the casino is expected to be submitted.
The testimony may well last one or two additional days as it did in 2006. Gettysburg businessman Dave LeVan of Mason-Dixon Resort & Casino will have an hour to speak and politicians, local officials and preservation organizations will each have 10 minutes. Individuals get three minutes.
LeVan has an option to purchase the existing Eisenhower Hotel and Conference Center on Emmitsburg Road just south of Gettysburg National Military Park. His plan is to transform the property into an estimated 600 slot casino and luxury 300-room hotel offering live entertainment and dining.
He maintains a casino would be good for Adams County because it would generate local jobs and increase the number of visitors to the area as well as bring in revenue for the state. That contention has been challenged by a just-released, independent analysis paid for by preservation groups opposed to the casino that concludes LeVan has greatly exaggerated the positive economic impact of the casino on the local economy.
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