David LeVan has tried to build a racetrack-casino in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania three times. He now has three failures.

His most recent attempt came to an last month when LeVan announced in a press release he withdrew his application for a Pennsylvania casino license. Mason-Dixon Downs was the proposed casino’s name.

LeVan maintained a respectful tone in his press release:

“I continue to believe that a gaming project would be tremendous for the local Adams County economy, create thousands of jobs, and provide desperately needed funding for countless municipal and community projects. I regret not being able to help my hometown achieve the unquestioned economic benefits gaming would provide at a time when jobs are scarce.”

Some locals opposed casino near hallowed ground

One of the big complaints from residents opposed to the racino was its proximity to Gettysburg National Military Park. They were also concerned about the amount of traffic such a development would bring.

The National Parks Conservation Association, one of the groups opposed to the casino, responded to the news with a post titled “Victory: Casino Project Cancelled at Gettysburg.”

“Thousands of heritage preservation advocates spoke out against this ill-conceived project,” the NPCA’s post reads. “A race track and casino can be located many places—but there’s only one Gettysburg … NPCA remains vigilant against any such inappropriate development near this iconic national park.”

Supporters say casino would have created jobs in Pennsylvania

While there was clear opposition to LeVan’s proposed casino, the project certainly had its supporters.

A Facebook page called “Adams County for Jobs Growth & Prosperity” posted occasionally about the project and also featured messages from LeVan himself.

In a June 10 post citing a LeVan press release, the group claimed just over half of Adams County residents are employed, and half of that segment leave the county for work. The post additionally stated those who are employed within the county earn about 10 percent less than the state average.

According to the same LeVan press release, the casino was to be about three miles away from the military park. Its site is more than four miles away from the park’s main entrance.

LeVan noted that the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall are closer to a casino than Gettysburg would have been. So too are Valley Forge National Park and Fort Necessity Battlefield.

This was LeVan’s third attempt at obtaining a license to build a casino in Pennsylvania. According to Trib Live, he was met with rejection in 2005 and 2012.

Image credit: Andriy Blokhin / Shutterstock.com

J.R. Duren

J.R. Duren

J.R. Duren is a freelance writer and author. He is a three-time winner at the Florida Press Club Excellence in Journalism contest. His work has appeared in numerous blogs and publications including Bespoke Post, Snooth, Our Amazing Norway, Barcelona Metropolitan and The Villages Daily Sun.