Midstate communities weighing whether to allow new casinos

Written by Rachel McDevitt | Nov 18, 2017 10:00 AM

(Lindsay Lazarski/Keystone Crossroads)

(Harrisburg) -- Municipalities across the state have until the end of this year to decide if they don't want to pursue a new mini-casino for their communities, and some in the midstate already have the wheels in motion to keep gambling out.

Several communities in Lancaster County are weighing whether it will be better to say "no, thanks" to the state's recent gambling expansion, which will allow larger casinos to bid to open mini-casinos.

Outgoing Mayor for the City of Lancaster Rick Gray has asked the city solicitor to write up a resolution so council can vote to opt out.

Councilman James Reichenbach agrees with Gray, and said he's particularly concerned about how fast the bill was passed in the legislature.

"Nobody really knows how this is going to play out. And uncertainty in your city does not breed confidence, especially in your business community," he said.

In informal conversations with his fellow council members, Reichenbach said he believes they are also wary of allowing a casino in city limits.

Reichenbach said he doesn't think a casino would be a good fit for his community.

"When you have an economy that is built on being opening and welcoming and safe and people wanting to spend time and enjoy opportunities within the city environment, you want to be careful about the type of businesses that you're encouraging to come," he said. 

Municipalities that choose to ban new casinos can reverse their position in the future, but then the decision is final.

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