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American Legion: No Casino in Gettysburg

27 October 2010 by admin

There are many advantages of playing your favorite games at an online casino rather than the brick and mortar variety. Some are obvious, such as the lack of traveling costs, the fact that you can play in your pajamas and the lack of distractions. When playing online blackjack, you can have a nice big strategy chart, a calculator and a statistics textbook on your computer desk if you want. Playing online poker but find the strategy difficult? You can consult gambling websites while you play.

Another advantage of playing casino games online is not as obvious, though. The lack of a physical casino building means you don’t have to worry about where to put it. No land is necessary and no neighborhoods are disturbed. Given the recent controversy surrounding plans to erect a casino in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, that is a big advantage indeed.

gettysburg1Pennsylvania has been expanding their casino industry for some time and new plans include placing a new casino within a half-mile of the Gettysburg National Military Park. As you can imagine, some people are quite upset. The war memorial site is one of the most hallowed locations in the United States. Over 70,000 Union and Confederate troops lost their lives on that battlefield, which was a turning point in the American Civil War.

Opponents are petitioning to stop the plans to build a casino in that site and have created a website, NoCasinoGettysburg.org. According to the group, the proposed casino site is on a path that cuts through Pickett’s Charge as well as the area where the Union cavalry marched through on their way to the battlefield. The group says that “people visit here because they can relax in a family-friendly community. We don’t want the identity of our town changed to a ‘casino town.’”

The American Legion, the largest veteran’s group in the U.S., has recently spoken out in opposition of the casino. Though they say they have no problem with casinos and are okay with other casinos in the state, they do not want one that close to the Gettysburg National Military Park. They also remind us that President Abraham Lincoln declared that land “consecrated ground” after the war.

Oh no! They played the “consecrated ground” card! Putting a casino there would now seem disrespectful to those who shed their blood in 1863. I mean, what’s next, a mosque on Ground Zero? A Stalin statue at a D-Day memorial?Stalin_Statue_closeup

I have to say they have a point. A big, flashy casino that close to the battlefield would seem to distract from the somberness of the scene. The Gettysburg battlefield is a memorial dedicated to one of the darkest times in American history, and casino with loud machines, neon signs and a thriving nightlife doesn’t seem appropriate.

If the developers were instead planning on an online casino, they wouldn’t have this problem. Currently, however, there are no online gambling sites based in any U.S. state, due to fear of the toothless and unconstitutional UIGEA.

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