In Pennsylvania, the plan to build a new casino and harness racing facility in Adams County near the historic town of Gettysburg is effectively dead after the local businessman behind the project reportedly revealed that he will not be applying for a gaming license.
According to a report from the Penn Live news service, David LeVan first announced his intention to build the Mason-Dixon Downs facility in January before unveiling detailed plans three months later that called for the new venue to additionally feature a 200-room hotel, conference center, and restaurants.
But, LeVan reportedly stated on Wednesday that uncertainty following the passage last month by the Pennsylvania State Senate of proposed gambling expansion legislation had made it impossible for him to proceed. This legislation, which is now being considered by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, could see casino-style gambling brought to the eastern state’s airports and bars while allowing liquor retailers to host a total of 40,000 slot-like video gaming terminals.
“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,” LeVan told the news service. “However, I’ve decided against submitting an application. Unfortunately, the uncertainty surrounding the gaming expansion legislation in Harrisburg makes it impossible for me to commit to this project at this time.”
In January, LeVan explained that the Mason-Dixon Downs venue would be located on 500 acres of land about 3.2 miles from Gettysburg National Military Park and adjacent to the Pennsylvania border with Maryland. He also declared that the project, which was to be approximately 2.5 miles southeast of the Eisenhower Hotel and Conference Center, would promote the history of the Civil War battlefield site, bring jobs to the area, and attract more visitors.
This was the third time LeVan had fronted a campaign to bring a casino to the area near the famous demarcation line of 1767, following failed attempts in 2006 and 2011, with the leader of the No Casino Gettysburg community group reportedly proclaiming that she remains committed to stopping any similar future proposals. Susan Paddock declared that the Gettysburg-based businessman would meet “another huge wall of opposition” if he were to propose comparable projects in the future and stated that Mason-Dixon Downs had been canceled because LeVan “knew there was going to be a referendum in November and he would lose because there is so much opposition.”