Pennsylvania Voters Oppose Casino Near Historic Gettysburg Battlefield

Statewide Public Opinion Poll Reveals That Two-Thirds of Pennsylvania Voters

Oppose Plans for a Casino Near the Gettysburg Battlefield

Nov 15, 2005, 00:00 ET from Civil War Preservation Trust

    GETTYSBURG, Pa., Nov. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- A public opinion poll
 commissioned by the Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT) reveals that
 Pennsylvania voters overwhelmingly oppose plans for a 42-acre casino complex
 near the historic Gettysburg Battlefield.  According to the poll, 65 percent
 of those surveyed indicated opposition to a casino at Gettysburg.
     "The statewide poll removes all doubt -- Pennsylvanians do not want a
 casino at Gettysburg," remarked CWPT President James Lighthizer.  "Keystone
 state voters clearly recognize that America's most hallowed battleground is no
 place to build a casino."
     In the telephone survey, Pennsylvania voters were asked several questions
 related to the proposed casino near the Gettysburg battlefield.  In nearly
 every case, a majority expressed strong opposition to the casino plan.  In
 addition to the 65 percent who opposed a casino at Gettysburg, 55 percent
 indicated that they would oppose a casino near an unnamed historic site in
     In Central Pennsylvania, where the proposed casino would be located, the
 opposition was even more pronounced.  According to the survey, 68 percent of
 Central Pennsylvania voters opposed building a casino near an unnamed historic
 site in the Keystone State.  Less than one-quarter of mid-state respondents
 expressed support for building a casino near historic sites.
     When Central Pennsylvanians were asked specifically about the 42-acre
 casino complex planned for Gettysburg, more than three-quarters (78 percent)
 declared their opposition to the proposal.  Only 16 percent expressed support
 for the concept, with just 6 percent of mid-state voters undecided.
     The poll also reminded voters of a recent statement made by Governor Ed
 Rendell, who said in appearance on the Pennsylvania Cable Network program
 Pennsylvania Newsmakers:  "if that proposal is anywhere near the historic area
 of Gettysburg, I would oppose it."  More than two thirds of those surveyed (67
 percent) indicated support for the Governor's statement.
     Voters were also asked if they would be more likely or less likely to vote
 for a candidate who advocated building casinos near Pennsylvania historic
 sites like the Gettysburg Battlefield.  More than half (51 percent) indicated
 they would be less likely to vote for such candidates; only 5 percent stated
 they would be more likely to vote for candidates who advocated building
 casinos near historic sites.
     Many Pennsylvania voters also indicated they would hold both the Governor
 and State Legislature responsible for any decisions made by the Pennsylvania
 Gaming Control Board.  When asked who they would consider responsible for
 approving a casino near a historic site, 43 percent of voters identified the
 governor and state legislature.  Another 35 percent indicated the gaming
 control board, and 13 percent stated they would blame both equally.
     "No Casino Gettysburg could not be more pleased with the results," noted
 Susan Paddock, spokesperson for the group, which is leading the effort against
 a casino at Gettysburg.  "Pennsylvania voters realize that a casino is
 incompatible with the character and history of Gettysburg."
     The poll was conducted by Mason-Dixon Research, Inc. from October 27-29,
 2005.  A total of 625 registered voters were interviewed statewide by
 telephone.  For verification or questions concerning methodology, contact Brad
 Coker at (904) 261-2444.  Margin of error is +/- 4 percentage points.
     With 75,000 members, CWPT is the largest nonprofit battlefield
 preservation organization in the United States.  Its mission is to preserve
 our nation's endangered Civil War battlefields and to promote appreciation of
 these hallowed grounds.
     (For the survey and results, visit

SOURCE Civil War Preservation Trust