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Carlisle residents say ‘no’ to mini-casino, parx owner…

Officials for Carlisle, a borough located in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, said Thursday that a vote on a mini-casino would not take place as there was no majority support for the move.

Carlisle was eyed by Greenwood Gaming & Entertainment as the potential home to a mini-casino with gaming machines. The company currently owns and operates Parx Casino in Bensalem. It has emerged as the winning bidder for a satellite casino within a 30-mile diameter spanning namely between Carlisle and Chambersburg. Carlisle was Greenwood’s first choice after it paid $8.1 million for its bid to extend its operations as part of a larger statewide gambling expansion that was approved by Pennsylvania state lawmakers and signed by Gov.


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Tom Wolf last fall.
The company has previously revealed that a recently vacated store at Carlisle Plaza was among the sites it was reviewing as a potential home to its gaming venue. Said store occupied a 42,000-square-foot site that would have been easy to be remodeled into a mini-casino, Greenwood officials have pointed out.
The Parx Casino owner held a workshop meeting in Carlisle last week to present its vision for the gaming facility to residents and officials of the borough. The company said that a casino in Carlisle could create up to 250 full- and part-time jobs and could generate annual revenue of around $1 million for both the borough and Cumberland County.

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Massive Opposition

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While the promises for new jobs and additional revenue were received well by some residents, the majority of people residing in the township and the region opposed Greenwood’s plan.
A number of arguments against the potential opening of a mini-casino in Carlisle were voiced during this Thursday’s council meeting. Around 70 residents attended it and most of them were opposed to the gaming expansion project.
There were attendees to voice concerns over increased gambling in the township and the impact that would have on the quality of life. According to a resident of Carlisle, it had to maintain a “non-garish feel” as that was what has been drawing people to come.

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As mentioned above, there were few to back the possibility for the addition of a casino to the town’s landscape, arguing that people have already been gambling and that Carlisle could actually benefit from a dedicated facility.

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A spokesperson for Greenwood said Thursday that the township “was very fair” with the company and provided for in-depth discussions of the matter and that the company understood Carlisle’s decision and would now pursue other opportunities within the allowed radius.
While Carlisle officials can still technically call a vote on the potential opening of a gaming venue, one is not likely to take place as the chances for overwhelming approval of any such project are too slim.

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