5/25/17 PA State Horse Racing Commission Meeting at Farm Show. Today I gave a PUBLIC COMMENT to the Horse racing Commission about the Referendum. Some supporters of Mason-Dixon Downs were surprised, and did not know that the local township will likely be voting on this in November! We have met the 2 requirements for a referendum.

 3/29/17 Today three of us attended the Pa State Horse Racing Commission meeting at the Farm Show. LeVan has not applied yet for his harness racing license. In fact NO ONE has yet applied.

We heard an interesting report, Horse Racing in Pennsylvania on the health of the racetrack casinos...the market is saturated. This report says that horse racing has reached its lowest point of attendence. 

Some pro-casino folks attended. During public comment two pros spoke: Susanne Murphy and one other whose name I couldn't hear. They were not on the sign up list to speak but Jim Simpson of Hanover Shoe Farm spoke in favor of their speaking since, as he said, "You let the others speak (We spoke at previous meetings) and should let them speak as well." The two speakers said they represent "Adams County for Jobs, Growth, and Prosperity" and that they represent "thousands" of Adams county residents who are in favor of the racino. One stated "We outnumber the opposition 7 to 1." No citation was given for this last amazing number. After so many years of attending this state meetings with only No Casino friends I was glad to see they are organizing like we did. (Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery). The Commission has asked that public comment be confined to matters before the board, so we likely won't speak again until after LeVan submits his application. There will be a public hearing so everyone can speak on the issue. 

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5/5/17 Mason Dixon Downs May Face Ballot A decison will be made at the June 14, 8pm Supervisors meeting to be held at the Greenmount Fire Company, Emmitsburg Road. 

5/2/17 Ironically, I was at the annual meeting of Historic Gettysburg Adams County when I heard that 
            "A proposed horse-racing, casino, and hotel project has won the endorsement Adams County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC). 
In Monday's announcement, ACEDC cited jobs and "unprecedented" economic development opportunities that could arise from Mason Dixon Downs, which has been proposed in Freedom Township by Gettysburg native, businessman and philanthropist David LeVan. [For every $1 a casino brings in it costs $3 in social costs--addiction, divorce, bankruptcies, embezzlement, deflated housing values, etc. per economist Earl Grinols]...
"We have learned from those in the travel industry that visitors coming for heritage tourism would increase their length of stay if other opportunities for recreation existed. 
[Tourism to the Vicksburg NMP fell by 40.05% from 1993 to 2008, when the first casinos were opened. Most Heritage Tourists do NOT like casinos] ...
Adams County has one of the lowest unemployment rates in Pennsylvania, she said.
"However, more than 32,000 of Adams County's workforce of 50,000-plus leave the county every day to find employment. This proposal describes the creation of more than 1,000 long term jobs that will bring residents back home to work," she said.
[On 4/26/17 there were 33 job openings at Hollywood Casino in Grantville, 7 FT, 26 PT. This casino has had a 40% turnover rate, not exactly "long term". Table games dealers start at 7.35 per hr.]
The township planners' next meeting is set for Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the township building, 2184 Pumping Station Road. Previous meetings concerning LeVan's proposal have drawn sizeable crowds.
4/30/17 Racetrack License may be delayed by new legislation designed to install gaming devices in bars , etc. The bill would delay the racino license that LeVan is applying for by 3 years, and eliminate the remaining resort casino license that was due to be released for application in 2017. Russian Hackers beat system of slots payouts for big wins, and casinos can't do anything about it! This is crime IN the casinos.

4/28/17 LeVan got some publicity from the Gettysburg Times today, thanking his volunteers for working for his racino. Two points emerged from the article: He has not yet secured adequate funding. and he's so worried about feisty Freedom Township not giving him his zoning that he's hired a Philadelphia area lawyer to push his project through in time for his June 14 application deadline with the Pa Horse Racing Commission. Another important point is that he told volunteers to "take the high road" and not harass No Casino folks. I hope that means they will stop stealing yard signs.

4/5/17 We were excited to see over 100 citizens turn out for the Freedom Township Planning Commission meeting on April 5. The Planning Commission pointed out that LeVan has added a hotel and restaurant and possible conference center to his plans, and these additions meant the plans have to return to the Supervisors for instructions back to the Planning Commission. (On 4/14/17 the Supervisors sent the expanded plans back to the Planning Commission.)So the plan is tabled for now and any zoning change is delayed again. Racino supporters complained at the 4/14 Supervisors meeting that Freedom Township is practicing "denial by delay" by passing the plans back and forth between the Supervisors and planners.