A new, independent Gettysburg casino study

…reveals that, yes, it’s not going to be such a great deal after all

The casino’s backers have overestimated the number of job openings, understated the degree to which these jobs will be low-paying and part-time, neglected to factor in the damage that will be done to existing businesses, ignored the data from similar cases, and forgotten to account for the existence of competitive gaming venues in the surrounding region.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.  When you’re looking for solid information about some financial undertaking, you’re not likely to get it from the guy that stands to make a buck.

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4 Comments

Filed under Civil War, Historic Preservation

4 responses to “A new, independent Gettysburg casino study

  1. Thanks for posting this. It’s not surprising, but it needs to be said.

    What’s scary about casino development — not just at Gettysburg, but everywhere else — is that once they’re in, they’re in for good. It’s not like the community can say, “we’ll revisit this in five years and if it doesn’t work, we’ll pull the plug on it.”

    I’m not aware of any city that’s opened up to casinos in the last fifty years that’s been able to undo it, once they’ve opened the door to it.

  2. Michael Lynch

    That’s one of my fears here–that people in Gettysburg, who are desperate for some type of economic shot in the arm given our current financial crisis, will seize on this as an easy fix, and then in a few years they’ll see a visitation drop like Vicksburg did, but they’ll be stuck with it.

    –ML

  3. Vandenbroek

    While the casino may turn-off a few, fine. Don’t participate in the games. Just keep spending your money at the various T-Shirt, and souvenir junk shops filled with crap made in Japan. Also, next time you come, why don’t you visit one of the many places that peel-off your cash with Ghost stories from the soldiers. Maybe ask one or two of the spirits what they think. You might want to get some Chinese “grub” from the new fast food restaurant just down the street from where Abe gave that famous address. Consecrated Grounds? Then you’ll want to check out “Lincoln’s Lost Treasure.” And just what is Lincoln’s Lost Treasure? “LIVE two and a half hour adventure across the streets of historic Downtown Gettysburg. Almost like stepping into your own action movie, groups of up to 6 or 8 people are sent on an thrilling and entertaining quest to uncover a lost secret sparked by President Lincoln’s final breath.” Please, stop with the disingenuous “outcry.” Gettysburg, if you ACTUALLY LIVED HERE, is for tourists. And the more we can offer our visitors, the better time they’ll have and the more likely they are to return.

    BTW, Andy … you’re wrong:

    The President Casino, St. Louis’ first and oldest gaming facility, will not re-open before its license is due to be turned over to the state next week, Pinnacle Entertainment confirmed June 22, 2010.

    Casino MonteLago at Lake Las Vegas will close at midnight March 14, the casino owner announced last March.

    And Michael, only the Isle of Capri has seen a loss. There are five other casinos in V’burg, MS. Six if you count the one in Louisiana.

    Google isn’t all that hard to use. Try it sometime.

  4. Michael Lynch

    Alas, Vandenbroek, you’ve misunderstood my point. I did not say that Vicksburg’s casinos had suffered a loss. Vicksburg National Military Park suffered a rather dramatic drop in vistation concurrent with the opening of casinos there, as discussed in the report which is the subject of the post. My reference to a “visitation drop” was in regard to the park, not the casinos. Since the drop in visitation to the park is discussed in the report linked to above, I saw no need to clarify the point in my response to Andy’s comment, and in fact I think the statement is clear enough on its own.

    I find your other argument about the schlock that already exists in Gettysburg quite unconvincing. “We already have tasteless schlock, so we may as well have more.” No. The presence of cheap commercialization is all the more reason to oppose its further advance. I’m not about to tell somebody who’s got a spot on their lung that they might as well light up.

    Finally, spare us the attempt to pull the “you don’t live here” card. I do believe that citizens of Gettysburg have a unique stake in this debate, but those of us who live outside the community have a legitimate stake, too. The battlefield is a national park, and like all such sites it belongs to the American people. It’s as much mine as it is yours, and as much your great-grandkids’ as it is mine.

    I know that you and other residents of Gettysburg did not ask to be put in the position of stewards of this resource, just as none of us ask to be put in the position of stewardship over whatever historic treasures we have in our own communities. But it’s an awesome gift as well as a responsibility, which is why many Gettysburg inhabitants fervently oppose this threat to the town’s legacy.

    –ML

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