Historical groups on opposite sides of Pa. casino debate

    The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is reviewing four proposals vying for the state’s last casino license. A proposal for a slots and table games casino near Gettysburg has attracted complaints from historical groups. But one historic preservation group wants the casino there.

    The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is reviewing four proposals vying for the state’s last casino license. A proposal for a slots and table games casino near Gettysburg has attracted complaints from historical groups. But one historic preservation group wants the casino there.

    At 50 years old, the Gettysburg Battlefield Preservation Association calls itself the oldest Civil War preservation group in the country. President Brendan Synnamon points out that the proposed casino would go into an already existing commercial building located outside of the national historic park, and the expected economic boost would help preservation efforts.

    “Some like to say they see pro-casino signs and no-casino signs driving through Gettysburg, but the predominent amount of signs are homes for sale. It’s forced a good bit of battlefield land on the open market. It would be impossible to procure all those spots with limited funding – especially in a harsh economy.”

    Synnamon’s support of the casino is at odds with other military and historical groups like the Civil War Preservation Trust and the American Legion, which have said the casino would taint the sanctity of one of the country’s bloodiest battlefields.

    The state Gaming Control Board is considering this, and three other proposals at sites near Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, and in the Poconos. A decision is expected at the end of the year.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.