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PA House votes to can casino 199-0

Richard D. L. Fulton
Emmitsburg Dispatch

(3/24) A bill proposed by Rep. Stephen Maitland to ban stand-alone casinos in Adams County unanimously passed in the state House of Representatives March 14, and will now head to the senate.

The representative's proposed bill would ban stand-alone casinos in Pennsylvania counties with a population of between 91,000 and 92,000, which would include Adams County. Maitland told The Dispatch his amendment casino to the 2004 slots regulations which would ban an Adams County casino had only been before the House less than 10 days before it was adopted.

"The bill should be in the Senate now," he said, "and they could take action today," but he felt it was more likely nothing would be done until the April session.

Maitland said the state Senate faces several options. It can agree with the House version, which was "unlikely;" do nothing and letting the House bill "sit there and whither;" amend the House version; send the bill to a conference committee; or vote it down, which, he said, was also "not likely."

Maitland said three out of four of his constituency, or 60 percent, "don't want it (the casino)." Additionally, he said, a recent survey of more than 650 voters in Pennsylvania by the Civil War Preservation trust found that two-thirds of those were opposed as well. "I really don't know the Senate's thinking on this, Maitland stated, adding, "I'm hoping they leave this (proposed amendment) in.

Chance Enterprises, Inc., headed by local CEO David LaVan, is proposing to build a slots casino called Crossroads Gaming Resort & Spa (formerly the Gettysburg Casino & Spa) which would be located in Straban Township on Route 30 near the U.S. 15 interchange.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has set April 5 as a public hearing date for Chance Enterprises' proposed Crossroads Gaming Resort & Spa (formerly the Gettysburg Casino and Spa) in Straban Township. The public hearing will be held at 8:30 a.m. in the ballroom adjacent to the student union at Gettysburg College, 300 N. Washington St.

Local residents and historic preservation groups across the country have expressed objections to the proposed gambling facility due to potential, negative impact ranging from alleged associated social ills to infringement on a historic site of national significance.

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