For Immediate Release: 12/20/06
Gaming Control Board Rejects Slots Parlor Near Gettysburg Battlefield
After 20 months of debate, the Control Board concludes that Gettysburg and gambling don't mix
(Harrisburg, Pa.) - During a public hearing today, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board rejected a proposal to build a 3,000-machine slots parlor one mile from the Gettysburg Battlefield. James Lighthizer, president of the Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT), issued the following statement in the wake of the vote:
"This is a great day for Gettysburg and for preservationists throughout the nation. By not allowing gambling to encroach on this famous town and battlefield, Pennsylvania has sent a clear message that it cares deeply for its historic treasures. It is no exaggeration to say that this is the most significant battlefield preservation victory since the defeat of Disney's proposed theme park at Manassas in the early 1990s.
"Together with the many thousands of Americans who have anxiously awaited this decision for some 20 months, I applaud the members of the Gaming Control Board and thank them for recognizing that Gettysburg and gambling don't mix.
"I also want to thank the tireless volunteers of No Casino Gettysburg and recognize the work of our other partners in the Stop the Slots Coalition. There is no question that this victory was a team effort.
"I sincerely hope this vote will serve to motivate preservationists to redouble their efforts to save the remainder of the Gettysburg Battlefield before it is lost forever. The casino proposal itself was merely a symptom of a larger development problem plaguing Gettysburg and many other Civil War battlefield communities. The Civil War Preservation Trust is committed to working with other preservation groups to protect the Gettysburg battleground."
Since the Gettysburg slots parlor was first proposed in April 2005, CWPT has been one of the leading voices against the casino. Earlier this year, the organization identified Gettysburg as one of the most endangered battlefields in the nation because of the slots proposal. CWPT members collected more than 34,000 signatures in opposition to the casino. Together with the National Parks Conservation Association, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, No Casino Gettysburg and Preservation Pennsylvania, CWPT is proud to be a member of the Stop the Slots Coalition.
The Civil War Preservation Trust is a 70,000-member nonprofit battlefield preservation organization. Its mission is to preserve our nation's endangered Civil War sites. Since 1987, the organization has saved more than 23,000 acres of hallowed ground throughout the United States, including 697 acres in and around Gettysburg. CWPT's website is located at www.civilwar.org.