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To Build or Not To Build?

When building a casino, there are a few things you need to get straight before you proceed. Do you have a customer base? Is gambling legal in your jurisdiction? Is the plot of land you purchased close to hallowed, historic ground where thousands of soldiers gave their lives for an ideal we take for granted today?

Battlelines are being drawn over plans to build a casino close to Gettysburg, the site of the bloodiest battle of the American Civil War, in what opponents say would be a desecration of sacred ground. More than 160,000 men fought at Gettysburg from July 1-3, 1863. Around 8,000 Union and Confederacy soldiers lost their lives during the three days as they fought in and around the Pennsylvania town, with tens of thousands wounded. The battle is often described as the turning point of the war, when the Union ended Confederate Gen. Robert E Lee’s invasion of the north. It’s where Lincoln gave his Gettysburg address, honoured the fallen soldiers and redefined the purpose of the Civil War.

Unfortunately, things aren’t nearly as cut-and-dry as most people would wish. The recession took its toll on Gettysburg, with unemployment in the area doubled in five years. The casino would bring hundreds of jobs, investors say, and would boost the local economy and help to halt a decline in visitors to the battlefield. More than one million people a year visit the battlefield, but the number has been dwindling over the last decade.

Local politicians this week said they would back the proposed Mason-Dixon Resort and Casino and, in exchange, investors in the project agreed to contribute $1 million annually to treasury of Adams County, where Gettysburg, a town of 7,500, is situated.

The casino, which would have 600 slot machines and 50 gambling tables, would be less than a kilometre from what is now preserved as the 2,428-hectare Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.

But opponents say the battle took place over a wider area than the borders of the park, and the casino would be right next to the scene of a Union cavalry advance where a number of soldiers are buried in unmarked graves.

A previous attempt to build a casino near the site was defeated by virulent opposition four years ago.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board will decide whether the casino can go ahead.

Posted in Casino News.

One Response

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  1. Doneve Karpman says

    Great article!! I had no idea that there were plans to build a casino near such an historic place. What a choice – to honour the fallen, or give a much-needed boost to the withering local economy. Not an easy decision to make …
    Thanks for a well-written article – I really like this site!

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