Opposition to a proposed casino 1/2 mile from the Gettysburg NMP
More residents of Adams County submitted official testimony against the proposed Mason-Dixon proposal than supported it, according to documents released on the PA Gaming Control Board website. http://www.pgcb.state.pa.us/?p=191 Counting only testimony on the PGCB’s official written comment form and verbal testimony to the PGCB on August 31 and Sept.1, and eliminating all duplicates, 53% of the verbal testimony or written comments from Adams residents came from casino opponents, while only 45% supported it. Of the support, 23% testified verbally or wrote to the PGCB. Thirty-five proponents testifying verbally were allowed to speak as proxies for another 97 (22%) individuals who did not speak for themselves. Counting the proxies as well, we still have 53% of residents opposed and 45% supporting the proposal.
According to PGCB records, Mason-Dixon is the most controversial and unpopular Category 3 proposal. In addition to the above, the PGCB was flooded with postcards, letters and petitions saying "Save Gettysburg -- No Casino Gettysburg." According to No Casino Gettysburg Chair Susan Star Paddock, “Mason-Dixon found its greatest support locally, but even within Adams County, PGCB records show more people opposed a Gettysburg Casino than supported it.”
Also on the official web form, excluding Adams County, PA residents opposed Mason Dixon 30:1, and excluding PA, national opposition opposed the casino 300:1.
This 53%-45% noted above excludes thousands of letters, postcards, e-mails and faxes all with the address redacted, and almost 41,000 petitions (the 30,000+ petitions delivered by the Civil War Preservation Trust and the National Parks Conservation Association at the Public Input Hearing, the 10,380 petitions submitted by No Casino Gettysburg and additional petitions submitted by various veterans and other opposition groups. Pro Casino Adams County also submitted 3,059 signatures to the PGCB.
Posted on the PGCB website are over 6,500 pages of written input on the proposed Mason-Dixon casino -- 98% of it opposes the casino. Penn-Harris drew 1,046 pages with half supporting that proposed casino. Bushkill drew 588 pages with 97% supporting that casino. Nemacolin drew 206 pages with 80% supporting that proposal. The 6400 pages of opposition to Gettysburg is 11 times more than the opposition to Penn-Harris, 155 times more than the opposition to Nemacolin and 362 times more than the opposition to Fernwood. Simply put, Mason-Dixon is the most controversial and unpopular casino proposal. No other applicant faced this level of opposition locally, statewide or nationally.