21 June 2011 by Published in: Battlefield preservation 2 comments

These nimrods just don’t know when to quit. In a colossal waste of time, money, effort, and judicial resources, they have now appealed the decision of the Pennsylvania Gaming Commission to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, whining that the Commission was wrong in making the right decision. From today’s issue of The Hanover Sun:

Mason-Dixon appeals slots decision
Gettysburg-area casino applicant may be headed for state Supreme Court

The Evening Sun
Posted: 06/20/2011 05:28:55 PM EDT

The Mason-Dixon Resort & Casino is appealing the licensing decision by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board in state Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court prothonotary’s office confirmed late Monday afternoon that the Gettysburg-area applicant submitted a legal appeal to the board’s April decision to award a $5 million slots license to a resort in southwestern Pennsylvania.

“Mason-Dixon contends that the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board misapplied the Gaming Act and state law, deprived Mason-Dixon of its due process rights, and disregarded or failed to consider the evidence presented,” said Mason-Dixon spokesman David La Torre.

At this time, details of the appeal are confidential because it contains the financial information of Mason-Dixon investors, according to the prothonotary’s office. This likely includes Gettysburg businessman David LeVan and partner Joseph Lashinger Jr.

Mason-Dixon had competed against three other applicants for the state’s last available slots license, which was awarded to the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Fayette County.

The two other failed applicants, the Fernwood Hotel and Resort in the Poconos and the Park Inn Harrisburg West, confirmed last week that they will not appeal the decision.

The appeal has now been sent to the Supreme Court’s Pittsburgh office for review, according to the prothonotary’s office. It might take the court a week to review the appeal before a redacted version can be made public.

After that, a briefing schedule will be established and the Gaming Control Board will submit to the courts a legal defense of its decision. Officials behind the Nemacolin application also have the right to defend themselves as the most suitable candidate for the license.

It could take more than a month for the briefs to be submitted and reviewed. Then, the matter could be argued before the court. The Supreme Court will hold a session in Philadelphia in September, Pittsburgh in October, and Harrisburg in November.

“This (appeal) is a colossal waste of time and money for the investors, the state, the taxpayers and our entire community,” said No Casino Gettysburg organizer Susan Star Paddock.

Historians and preservationists have objected to the proposal because it would be located about 0.8 miles from the southern border of the Gettysburg battlefield. Many Adams County residents, though, support the plan because of the potential economic benefits.

“Because of these investors’ irrational obsession, our community and our nation may be dragged through another several years of conflict,” Paddock said.

Six of the seven members of the gaming board voted against Mason-Dixon and for Nemacolin. The lone dissenter, Commissioner Kenneth Trujillo, said he supported the Fernwood Hotel, citing its proximity to markets in New York and New Jersey.

Although Mason-Dixon has received little support from the board, La Torre has said a successful appeal must only show that facts or law used by the board is incorrect or that the board acted in an “arbitrary or capricious manner in ignoring evidence it had.”

The announcement of the appeal comes two weeks after Mason-Dixon petitioned the gaming board to amend its Order and Adjudication, the legal document that will be used to defend the licensing decision in court.

Mason-Dixon argued this document should be amended to address concerns raised in a grand jury report, which found failures in the board’s licensing process years ago.

The following day, though, the board unanimously rejected this petition on the grounds that the grand jury report did not implicate any issues related to the licensing decision, according to the board.

Gaming experts have said even if Mason-Dixon filed an appeal it’s unlikely the board will overturn the ruling, as the Nemacolin resort has been called a “textbook example” of a slots applicant.

Since the licensing decision was made, gaming board officials have said they expected an appeal to be filed, as all past decisions have been challenged.

Still, the court has never overturned a decision.

LeVan, a former president and CEO at Conrail, has proposed converting the Eisenhower Inn & Conference Center on Emmitsburg Road into a gaming resort with 600 slot machines and 50 table games.

tprudente@eveningsun.com; 717-637-3736, ext. 163

Quit whining and give up already. Stop wasting time, money and scarce judicial resources, and accept the fact that putting a casino in Gettysburg is grossly disrespectful of the men who fought and died there, and the fact that the vast majority of the United States sees it that way too.

Perhaps the best solution is for the General Assembly to pass the bill making it illegal to put a casino within ten miles of Gettysburg. Perhaps that will FINALLY end this nonsensical whining.

Scridb filter


  1. Mark R. Day
    Tue 21st Jun 2011 at 2:12 pm

    You would think that having been turned down twice the investors in this failed enterprise would pull the plug. I understand perserverance but this is wasted energy.

  2. Brian
    Wed 22nd Jun 2011 at 7:49 pm

    Eric, as a lawyer, do you have any insight into whether the effort to overturn the decision will succeed or fail?

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