20 December 2006 by Published in: Battlefield preservation 18 comments

The wonderful news contained in this press release came to me via e-mail:


After 20 months of debate, the Control Board concludes that Gettysburg and gambling don’t mix.

(Harrisburg, Pa., 12/20/2006) – During a public hearing today, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board rejected a proposal to build a 3,000-machine slots parlor one mile from the Gettysburg Battlefield.  James Lighthizer, president of the Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT), issued the following statement in the wake of the vote:

“This is a great day for Gettysburg and for preservationists throughout the nation.  By not allowing gambling to encroach on this famous town and battlefield, Pennsylvania has sent a clear message that it cares deeply for its historic treasures.  It is no exaggeration to say that this is the most significant battlefield preservation victory since the defeat of Disney’s proposed theme park at Manassas in the early 1990s.

“Together with the many thousands of Americans who have anxiously awaited this decision for some 20 months, I applaud the members of the Gaming Control Board and thank them for recognizing that Gettysburg and gambling don’t mix.

“I also want to thank the tireless volunteers of No Casino Gettysburg and recognize the work of our other partners in the Stop the Slots Coalition.  There is no question that this victory was a team effort.

“I sincerely hope this vote will serve to motivate preservationists to redouble their efforts to save the remainder of the Gettysburg Battlefield before it is lost forever.  The casino proposal itself was merely a symptom of a larger development problem plaguing Gettysburg and many other Civil War battlefield communities.  The Civil War Preservation Trust is committed to working with other preservation groups to protect the Gettysburg battleground.”

Since the Gettysburg slots parlor was first proposed in April 2005, CWPT has been one of the leading voices against the casino.  Earlier this year, the organization identified Gettysburg as one of the most endangered battlefields in the nation because of the slots proposal.  CWPT members collected more than 34,000 signatures in opposition to the casino.  Together with the National Parks Conservation Association, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, No Casino Gettysburg and Preservation Pennsylvania, CWPT is proud to be a member of the Stop the Slots Coalition.

The Civil War Preservation Trust is a 70,000-member nonprofit battlefield preservation organization.  Its mission is to preserve our nation’s endangered Civil War sites.  Since 1987, the organization has saved more than 23,000 acres of hallowed ground throughout the United State, including 697 acres in and around Gettysburg.  CWPT’s website is located at www.civilwar.org.

It’s so reassuring to find that, for once, the bureaucrats got it right and put the interests of the voting public and of history ahead of the interests of big money.  I thought for sure that this was a done deal, and it came as a happy and very pleasant surprise to learn that, for a change, my cynicism was not well-taken.

Scridb filter


  1. Michael Aubrecht
    Wed 20th Dec 2006 at 1:20 pm

    I just got it too Eric. What a GREAT Christmas present for all of us! 🙂

  2. Wed 20th Dec 2006 at 1:23 pm


    Indeed. In truth, it just doesn’t get much better than this.


  3. Michael Aubrecht
    Wed 20th Dec 2006 at 1:32 pm

    Now if we could only have this type of success down here in the Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania area. No More Strip Malls!

  4. Harold Pearman
    Wed 20th Dec 2006 at 3:25 pm

    Throughtout the Civil War World, Santa Claus arrived early with a huge gift that will hopefully last a long time. Thanks to everyone who made an effort to abort this intrision of American history. Common sense prevailed over money. Its Wild Turkey time tonight in Raleigh NC area.

  5. Harold Pearman
    Wed 20th Dec 2006 at 3:27 pm

    Sorry – hit a bad key” intrusion”

  6. Randy Sauls
    Wed 20th Dec 2006 at 4:37 pm


    Wow!! That ought to motivate you! Wonderful, wonderful news. I’m giddy!


  7. Randy Sauls
    Wed 20th Dec 2006 at 4:43 pm

    Come to think of it, a Christmas trip to the ‘Burg to celebrate? Hmmm. Any excuse!


  8. The Patriot
    Wed 20th Dec 2006 at 5:23 pm

    Huzzah for common sense!

    Thanks to the gaming control board for their decision!

  9. Mike Nugent
    Wed 20th Dec 2006 at 5:54 pm

    Excellent news indeed! Hopefully this can be put to rest once and for all. A great holiday gift for everyone.

  10. Wed 20th Dec 2006 at 6:52 pm

    Yes!!! Thanks for posting this . . . we hadn’t heard. I’ll tell my teenaged sons now. We’d visited Gettysburg earlier this year and they were both adamant that we would not shop anywhere that had a pro-gambling issue sign posted.

  11. Mike Peters
    Wed 20th Dec 2006 at 8:06 pm

    I sent the good news to a friend of mine who opened the E-mail at work. He said he got the weirdest looks when he stood up & shouted “Yeah!”


  12. Wed 20th Dec 2006 at 10:27 pm

    Let’s hope so. I’ve heard more than I wanted to about this….and I hope it’s over for good.


  13. Steve Basic
    Thu 21st Dec 2006 at 1:25 am

    I just hope that the Crossroads folks don’t plan on appealing the decision, but it would not surprise me at all if they did.

    20 months wasted on this issue. It will be interesting to see what goes on down there in the coming months as the new VC is being built, as this issue dwarfed the death of Downtown Gettysburg because the new VC was being moved away from the business district.

    Regards from the Garden State,


  14. Thu 21st Dec 2006 at 11:07 am

    I just put a post on the issue on my blog as well. This is the best news we could have hoped for, as I too thought this was a “done deal” until yesterday. And I’m shocked that it even got this far.

    Let’s hope the issue is as dead in the water as dead can be, and that it never rises again.


  15. Brian S.
    Thu 21st Dec 2006 at 11:21 am


    Very relieved to hear the news. I felt better about the casino not being built in Gburg once I heard about the location of the other sites ( Allentown & Philly ). I figured those areas were a better fit. Allentown is still in a economic low and Philly is Rendell’s town. But both sites are going to be in Philly?! I’m not complaining at all but two years of non-sense and they put the casinos down the road from each other? Shady as usual. I hate to say it but I think because of the new VC the Balto pike just became the new York pike. now we’ll have two miracle miles with 50 stop lights.

  16. David Corbett
    Thu 21st Dec 2006 at 11:39 am

    Dear Buttermilk Ranger ,
    Let’s just hope that the folks who in print opposed the casino will now actually visit the battlefield and show tangible support . It would be of interest to see who has actually been there and when they last visited .
    all for the old flag,
    David Corbett

  17. Thu 21st Dec 2006 at 7:09 pm

    This truly is glorious news. I was waiting anxiously for the news of the Gaming Board’s selection. Not putting slots in Gettysburg was the absolute right thing to do for the entire country, but especially in honor of those that perished there.


  18. Art Bergeron
    Fri 22nd Dec 2006 at 9:28 am

    This morning’s news is that there will be no appeal, although a government official in Gettysburg wants the decision to be put on hold. He claims that political influence resulted in the placement of a gambling establishment in the Poconos.

    The whining and crying by local supporters began immediately after the decision. They do not seem to be able to see past the official spin about jobs and tax revenues. Neither of the latter was likely to aid Adams County.

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