The Eisenhower Inn
The Eisenhower Inn & All-Star Sports Complex along Business 15 in Cumberland Township.

The state’s Gaming Control Board unanimously rejected a request Wednesday morning by Gettysburg-area casino developers to reconsider a licensing process that was called unfair and flawed.

As a result, investors behind the denied Mason Dixon Resort & Casino in Cumberland Township may appeal to the Pennsylvania  Supreme Court. 

Gaming Control Board spokesman Doug Harbach said the seven-member panel will release a written adjudication over the next week that will explain why it turned down the request.

The board voted unanimously Wednesday morning at the State Museum in Harrisburg, after an hour-long hearing

Mason Dixon spokesman David La Torre said following the board’s vote that his group is undecided over whether to file an appeal, but that one is “absolutely” under consideration.

An appeal would not be surprising, since every other licensing decision made by the state since gambling was legalized has been contested in court. The board awarded a slots license to the Nemacolin Resort (Woodlands Fayette) in mid-April over three competitors,  including Gettysburg, and then issued its written explanation one month later. Only about a week remains until the appeal window closes.

“We are disappointed. This is a blow for transparency,” La Torre said after the board’s meeting in Harrisburg. La Torre cited a Grand Jury investigation that reviewed alleged deficiencies the Gaming Board’s licensing process. The report was not made public until after board awarded a casino license to Nemacolin, over Gettysburg and two other projects, prompting Mason Dixon investors to file the “petition for reconsideration” Tuesday.

“The grand jury report raised serious questions about how licenses were awarded in 2006,” explained La Torre. “The public is left no other option than to take the board’s word that it was different this time. The fact remains, Pennsylvania’s system for awarding gaming licenses is among the most secretive in the world.”

The Nemacolin Resort in southwest Pennsylvania cannot break ground on the casino until the appeals process concludes. Project spokesman Jeff Nobers said his group isn’t concerned about the recent legal action.

“They (Mason Dixon) are basing their petition on the Grand Jury report which in no manner mentions or refers to the awarding of the most recent Category 3 license to Nemacolin,” said Nobers. “The issues raised in this report are all prior to this process.”

No Casino Gettysburg spokesman Susan Star Paddock said Mason Dixon is “grasping at straws” and “continuing to drag our community” into what she called a “hopeless and destructive request.”

Gaming advocate Richard Kitner, of Pro Casino Adams County said his group has “supported Mason Dixon in the past and we continue to support Mason Dixon now,” regardless of the outcome in the appeals process.

State gambling regulators chose the 2,000-acre Nemacolin Resort for the license in western Pennsylvania, calling it the “best fit” for the license, with the potential to generate the most new revenue for the state, as it draws 350,000 visitors annually, and is located the farthest from other Pennsylvania casinos. Opposition was cited in denying the Gettysburg-area project, although its proximity to the boundaries of Gettysburg National Military Park was not a factor in the decision. The casino would have been managed by Penn National Gaming.

Groups in the Poconos and Mechanicsburg that were also denied the license are still deciding whether to file an appeal.

(11) comments

Former Gettysburger

Those of you folks who don't have the wits to understand odds can now just buy a case of beer and light fire to a few extra $20s you have around.

You'll get a lot more beer for the money, and if you burn 3 or 4 20s, it'll still be a lot cheaper than gambling.

Plus, instead of boasting that you were dumb enough to go to the casino, you can boast about how you're so rich that burn money for fun.

Heywood

WA...WA.... Can we get over this?????? How about getting good jobs in the area?????

Proud American

It would appear the Mason Dixon Casino’s premeditated intent of their particular brand of power of intimidation establishing their dated deadline to the Gaming Commission members never accomplished was it was calculated to do. Apparently this was accompanied by a lapse of better judgment. So what’s next for the investors of the Mason Dixon, curry a few a favors with current members of the State Supreme Court judicial system with some lucrative incentives in an attempt to motivate and cultivate them to see things their way? Is their personal backyard battlefield biker and casino haven that important to them to the extent of just what rancorous and acrimonious tactics they’ll resort to next?

sjguy

Wasn't the original vote something like 7 to nothing against? I could see fighting a closely split vote but this is akin to spitting in the ocean to raise the water level.

gettybird

What planet do these guys live on? They finished tied for last in the voting - they cannot EVER win this. Guys - you lost, you got creamed, you did not get one single vote from the Board. Not one vote! You need to support (or not object to) the decision so that other people besides you can have jobs. I know its nice to act like all you care about is the good people of Adams County, but its getting a bit old at this point and we know there is only one thing you really care about. Today's pathetic overreaching display proves that. Another shut out. But right now you are standing in the way of jobs in Pa. Stand out of the way - please.

grizwald713

STRIKE THREE!!!
Sit down already.

TKE1970

La Torre, Levan, on to the next Planet!

Insider

LeVan needs to take this to the Pa. Supreme Court. That's the only way the allegations of corruption will be proven.

Lets see, the Gaming Board chose Louis Denaples over LeVan in 2006 for a license, and Denaples is in jail.

They chose Joe Hardy over LeVan for the license this year, and oh by the way, Hardy also happens to be a top political donor.

Proud American

Maybe take to the U.S. Supreme. And if no luck there, LeVan and company can petition The International Court of Justice in The Hague. Who knows, perhaps there may be a court somewhere on this big blue marble that may listen to them.

RDLF

LeVan's Folly just keeps on giving.

Preservationist

Proud American, where did you heard it was going to the U.S. Supreme Court? Appeals of Pa. licensing decisions go to the Pa. Supreme Court, and they have upheld every decision.

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