Monday, July 18, 2005

31: “Someone Just Doesn’t Get It!”

Last Thursday, July 14, the Gettysburg Times ran this as their top letter to the editor in their Editorial Page As our readers see it column:

“Notes slots pledge to community”

Editor, Gettysburg Times:

“On July 7, 2005, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board announced their choice of executive director. Anne Lacour Neeb, from Louisiana, has accepted the position and will begin when her background investigation is completed. The Patriot News in Harrisburg quoted Ms. Neeb as saying, “gambling ‘if it’s done correctly,’ will benefit the state.”

“As an investor in Gettysburg Gaming Resort & Spa, we interpret her remarks on two levels. On the state level, Ms. Neeb refers to correctly adopting regulations for gaming and gaming sites, and applying the law that was passed. In carrying out their duties, the Gaming Control Board will facilitate economic gain for the state, county governments, and local governments.

“Chance Enterprises also interprets this from our perspective. It is our intention to do it “correctly” in Gettysburg. We will adhere to the law and the regulations adopted by the Gaming Control Board and abide by a code of conduct that includes promoting responsible gaming by offering informative materials on gaming to customers, identifying where to find assistance, and displaying prominently probabilities of winning so that our customers can make responsible choices for themselves. We will prevent underage gambling and unattended minors in our place of business. We will serve alcoholic beverages responsibly. We will advertise responsibly. Perhaps the most important pledge an investor can make, however, is to the community. Our pledge is to work with the communities of Adams County to assure that this remains a safe and healthy place to live, work, and recreate and to assure that the historical significance of Gettysburg will be upheld.

“David LeVan is a respected and responsible leader in the Gettysburg community. He can be trusted to continue that style of leadership for Gettysburg Gaming Resort & Spa. As for myself, I have spent the past five years helping to build an even stronger Adams County through its non-profit organizations. I feel a duty to continue that sense of community building through Gettysburg Gaming Resort & Spa.

Barbara B. Ernico
Camp Hill”
Wow. Its hard to compete with towering arrogance like that. This Blogger finally understand why the French became enraged when Marie Antoinette said, “Let them eat cake.”

Calling on one of this Blogger’s favorite local acquaintances, W. G. Davis, for a response, he had one waiting. It seems he fired one off to the Times within an hour of reading the Ernico letter. Alas, they do not publish him any more, either. Perhaps they can be shamed into it. Here is what he wrote:

“Editor, Gettysburg Times:

“Ms. Ernico's letter printed in the July 14th edition of the Times is full of promises. Unfortunately they are promises Ms. Ernico cannot keep, nor can she guarantee that they will be kept. For example, will there be someone there to explain warnings on the addiction of gambling when people walk in the door? She mentions "displaying prominently the probabilities of winning". The only thing those who gamble in the casino need to understand is that the House never loses. The percentage of money taken home by gamblers after also figuring in their losses is miniscule. Few win big; the vast majority lose their money. She also promises to serve alcoholic beverages responsibly.

Alcohol is served in the casino (free of charge), to make you gamble more. It is served to loosen you up, break down your inhibitions, and weaken your skills and judgment. That is why alcohol is served. It is NOT served as a refreshment.

“Ms. Ernico pledges to work with the communities of the county to assure that it remains a safe and healthy place to live. If she means this, then why do the investors continue to press for a casino here in the face of obvious opposition, that is both principled and logical? Why, for example, would they insist on building a casino in a property adjoining a youth sports park? Do they want to attract folks who drink and gamble to our children's ball fields? And, please, enlighten us, Ms. Ernico, how would the historical significance of Gettysburg be upheld by the presence of a casino?

“Finally, Ms. Ernico touts her "good works" with unnamed non-profit groups in Adams County. So she says. If she is so interested in improving Adams County, then why is she still living in Camp Hill?

W. G. Davis

Indeed, why is Ms. Ernico living in Cumberland County?

I assume that due to limitations on the number of words the Times will print, Mr. Davis left a few things unsaid. For example, Ms. Ernico states,

“Our pledge is to work with the communities of Adams County to assure that this remains a safe and healthy place to live, work, and recreate and to assure that the historical significance of Gettysburg will be upheld.”
Can someone please enlighten me as to how the investors in a business that is built specifically to attract gamblers (many of whom are addicted to gambling), and enhances that attraction by offering free alcohol (many who will come will be alcoholics) can make such a pledge with a straight face? They are going to attract high numbers of gambling and alcohol addicts to their Spa, and they think the community will remain safe, healthy, and a fun place to be. Handing out brochures from Gamblers Anonymous at the entrance to their Spa is tokenism. It is lip service. It is, “let them eat cake.”

G. K Chesterton said, “Democracy means government by the uneducated, while aristocracy means government by the badly educated.” Barbara Ernico seems to think she’s living in an Aristocracy and is a part of it because she has money.

Barbara Ernico, the LeVans, and the rest of the investors just don’t get it. Neither do the Straban Township Supervisors ("The Strabaddies"), the Adams County Commissioners ("The Addams Family"), the state legislative representatives (who act more like bleating lost sheep than political leaders), and of course, the Gettysburg Times.


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Gettysburg, PA 17325

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Randy said...

The term "responsible gaming" to me seems an oxymoron. According to the American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, "responsible" is defined as "Able to be trusted or depended upon; reliable." I fail to see how an industry that has been accused of the following can be deemed responsible.

1. Covertly pumps oxygen into their casinos to fight fatigue allowing each individual to gamble for longer durations.
2. Excludes clocks and windows so that "gamers" more easily lose track of time.
3. Offers free alcohol to loosen inhibitions.

Their primary function is to make money for those who invest in or own the casino. Nothing comes before this. As you so correctly said, overall, "The house never loses." Their entire industry is built on that one truth. All else to them, including "the historical significance of Gettysburg " is likely quite irrelevant.

Anonymous said...

If the investors are so interested in bringing gambeling to a community "correctly", maybe the folks in Shenksville would be interested? Oh, and don't forget Valley Forge.

GettysBLOG said...

The city of Pittsburgh is concerned that a casino will change its downtown aura.

ShowMe said...

Ms. Neebs pledge, here, is almost political. Too good to be true?
Sure it is, cause she is either lying or misguided, and/or uneducated when it comes to Casinos and the city streets around them.

Going straight to the horses mouth....was your last Gubernatorial a horse race? Did the GOP take a vacation? How did Rendell get into office, in a typically Conservative state?

The State House and the Legislature is like a Dog and Pony show for sure.....and Im afraid even with Ms Neeb, they will need more people to muck the stalls when this is all over.

Im not going to say I know your Investors/Developers are underhanded swindling crooks...I dont know them.....but if they are honest and upstanding citizens of Gettysburg, and they are running with the likes of Rendell?.....its kind of like saying, "if you have Chance Enterprize et al, as your Friend, honey bunch, you don't need any enemies".

No Casino Gettysburg people, are about as gutzy a bunch as I've seen. They are taking the bull by the horns, and giving it a good shake.

More Power to Them....and,
Keep this Blog going, its one of the most informative I've read on the net.......Congratulations!

GettysBLOG said...

Lo and Behold, the Gettysburg Times finally ran Davis' letter on July 20. Did we shame them into it? Who knows. Its not that important. What's important is they are finally giving voice to the anti-casino crowd.