A letter was sent by LeVan's attorney two months ago stating the Gettysburg
businessman wants to pursue a new casino project in the county. The letter from
Gettysburg attorney John White is in response to the failure of the proposed
Mason-Dixon Resort & Casino to secure a slots license in April.
LeVan partnered with former state Rep. Joseph Lashinger Jr. in the
Mason-Dixon project. But he's now seeking a release from a "restrictive
covenant" in the partnership to pursue new gaming opportunities.
"(LeVan) desires to pursue the acquisition, development, management or
operation of a new casino or gaming project in Adams County, Pennsylvania,"
explains the letter from White.
Despite the letter, Lashinger has not released LeVan from the partnership.
And as a result, LeVan filed a lawsuit in Adams County court last week to
dissolve Mason-Dixon.LeVan did not respond to a message Wednesday seeking
comment for this story. But even if the partnership is dissolved and he's to
pursue a new gaming license, there are few available.
In December, the gaming board revoked the license of the stalled Foxwoods
Casino after concerns were raised over the financing of the Philadelphia
project. Some lawmakers have since called for that revoked license to be opened
up for bidding throughout the state. But the matter is currently in the courts
after investors appealed to retain the license.
Also, a project to open a casino at a Lawrence County racetrack in the
western part of the state has been stalled for years. Once, it seemed as if this
license would be available because financing fell through. But a new group of
investors has come in and the project is now moving forward.
Otherwise, a new gaming license isn't expected to become available until at
Furthermore, a state representative from Bucks County is working to legislate
a 10 mile buffer around the Gettysburg battlefield to block future casinos
there. If that legislation passes, it would cut down on many potential casino
locations in the county.
Other limited partners suing to be released from the Mason-Dixon partnership
are Bernard Yannetti, a Gettysburg attorney, Michael Jackson, the longtime
accountant for LeVan, and two trusts established for LeVan's granddaughter and
In the suit, LeVan states that he opposed the Mason-Dixon appeal to the
gaming board's April licensing decision. The board voted to award the $5 million
license to the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Wharton Township, Fayette County.
But because Lashinger possesses 60 percent of the voting authority, LeVan was
"powerless" in the decision, according to the suit. LeVan argues that the appeal
will fail and could harm future gaming projects.
"Lashinger can -- absent judicial intervention -- maintain the partnership as
a 'shell' indefinitely and thereby preclude (LeVan and minority partners) from
ever pursuing other gaming ventures."
In 2008, LeVan explored building a gaming and racing venue between Hanover
and Littlestown in southern Adams County. But financing for the project fell
In 2005, he partnered with investors to launch a slots casino called the
Crossroads Gaming Resort and Spa in Straban Township, within a mile of the
eastern boundary of the Gettysburg battlefield. But the project was turned down
by gaming regulators, who cited significant public opposition.
The gaming board also cited public opposition as a reason for turning down
the recent Mason-Dixon proposal. Historians and preservationists generally
objected to the Mason-Dixon proposal because it would be located about 0.8 miles
from the southern border of the Gettysburg battlefield. But many Adams County
residents supported the plan because of the potential economic benefits,
including promised local jobs and gaming revenues.
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