10 June 2011 by Published in: Battlefield preservation 5 comments

Astonishingly, David LeVan and his other supporters have refused to give up the ghost on the Gettysburg casino. Instead of gracefully and graciously accepting defeat and moving on to some other more productive project, they’re now considering appealing the decision of the Pennsylvania Gaming Commission to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

From yesterday’s Gettysburg Times:

Pa. Gaming board: Casino decision stays

No reason given for denial. Appeal may be next.

Posted: Wednesday, June 8, 2011 12:14 pm | Updated: 12:45 pm, Thu Jun 9, 2011.


The state’s Gaming Control Board unanimously rejected a request Wednesday morning by Gettysburg-area casino developers to reconsider a licensing process that was called unfair and flawed.

As a result, investors behind the denied Mason Dixon Resort & Casino in Cumberland Township may appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

Gaming Control Board spokesman Doug Harbach said the seven-member panel will release a written adjudication over the next week that will explain why it turned down the request.

The board voted unanimously Wednesday morning at the State Museum in Harrisburg, after an hour-long hearing

Mason Dixon spokesman David La Torre said following the board’s vote that his group is undecided over whether to file an appeal, but that one is “absolutely” under consideration.

An appeal would not be surprising, since every other licensing decision made by the state since gambling was legalized has been contested in court. The board awarded a slots license to the Nemacolin Resort (Woodlands Fayette) in mid-April over three competitors, including Gettysburg, and then issued its written explanation one month later. Only about a week remains until the appeal window closes.

“We are disappointed. This is a blow for transparency,” La Torre said after the board’s meeting in Harrisburg. La Torre cited a Grand Jury investigation that reviewed alleged deficiencies the Gaming Board’s licensing process. The report was not made public until after board awarded a casino license to Nemacolin, over Gettysburg and two other projects, prompting Mason Dixon investors to file the “petition for reconsideration” Tuesday.

“The grand jury report raised serious questions about how licenses were awarded in 2006,” explained La Torre. “The public is left no other option than to take the board’s word that it was different this time. The fact remains, Pennsylvania’s system for awarding gaming licenses is among the most secretive in the world.”

The Nemacolin Resort in southwest Pennsylvania cannot break ground on the casino until the appeals process concludes. Project spokesman Jeff Nobers said his group isn’t concerned about the recent legal action.

“They (Mason Dixon) are basing their petition on the Grand Jury report which in no manner mentions or refers to the awarding of the most recent Category 3 license to Nemacolin,” said Nobers. “The issues raised in this report are all prior to this process.”

No Casino Gettysburg spokesman Susan Star Paddock said Mason Dixon is “grasping at straws” and “continuing to drag our community” into what she called a “hopeless and destructive request.”

Gaming advocate Richard Kitner, of Pro Casino Adams County said his group has “supported Mason Dixon in the past and we continue to support Mason Dixon now,” regardless of the outcome in the appeals process.

State gambling regulators chose the 2,000-acre Nemacolin Resort for the license in western Pennsylvania, calling it the “best fit” for the license, with the potential to generate the most new revenue for the state, as it draws 350,000 visitors annually, and is located the farthest from other Pennsylvania casinos. Opposition was cited in denying the Gettysburg-area project, although its proximity to the boundaries of Gettysburg National Military Park was not a factor in the decision. The casino would have been managed by Penn National Gaming.

Groups in the Poconos and Mechanicsburg that were also denied the license are still deciding whether to file an appeal.

Give it up. Simply accept the fact that the bulk of the world, including the Gaming Commission, thinks that Gettysburg is the LAST place where a casino should be placed. Get it through your thick, stupid skulls already.

Scridb filter


  1. Chris Evans
    Fri 10th Jun 2011 at 4:36 pm

    I agree. Move on. The idea was a terrible one and lost. They should give the money to charity instead that they are going to waste on a pointless, groundless, idiotic appeal.

  2. Gary Dombrowski
    Fri 10th Jun 2011 at 5:38 pm

    LeVan and people like him DO NOT like to hear the word NO. They’ll probably continue to explore any and all options they may feel exists. ~Gary

  3. Barry Dussel
    Sat 11th Jun 2011 at 2:42 pm

    How dissappointing. LeVan needs to get over it. Maybe move out of the area and go somewhere else where people don’t see the oil slick around him when he gets in the pool

    Wed 06th Jul 2011 at 8:31 pm

    The people of pennsylvania have expressed their denial of the casino anywhere near the historic Gettysburg Battlefeild. Gettysburg is what shaped our nation as it is today and it needs to be perserved as a shrine and hollowed ground to the thousands of americans that gave their lives there for this country.Please Respect it and this history must be perserved for future generations to study and learn. Without any casino distractions.Please.

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