Shippensburg Residents Say No to Parx Gaming Venue
Residents of Shippensburg, Pennsylvania are not happy about the potential for a gaming venue to be hosted by the college town.
Parx Casino owner, Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment is focused on creating a satellite casino in the small borough of Shippensburg. The college town would be home to slots, table games, and a sportsbook, which would bring revenues to the local economy. However, residents of the area are now happy with the idea. Just recently, the Gaming Control Board hosted a public meeting on the proposed casino for the borough and residents came in ready to showcase just how much they do not want to see a casino created.
We Don’t Want You Here
Several people were in attendance during the meeting to discuss why they do not want the casino to come to Shippensburg, Pennsylvania. The pastor of the Shippensburg First Church of God, Reverend Jim Rogers, said “We don’t want you here”. He said the lights and big-screen TVs don’t mean anything to them and it will not help the suffering when people start losing their money so the company can get rich.
The reverend spoke out about people gambling and losing money, having a hard time feeding their children or paying their rent. He also spoke about addictions that come along with the gambling industry.
Locals continued to stand up one by one and show their displeasure regarding the new casino plan. For the most part, those in attendance seemed to be worried about how the casino would affect the community as a whole. The town was described like a Hallmark movie and gambling would just damage the ideal community.
One sticking point the operator has held on to with the plan is the jobs that the venue would create. Those who are opposed say the town doesn’t need the jobs because everyone is hiring. The casino says they would bring in 100 full time positions along with tax revenues. The workforce would earn around $40,000 a year with benefits.
This would help the locals as around 15% of those who live in Shippensburg live below the United States poverty line. Locals argued that people need to be focused on providing jobs for poor people instead of bringing businesses in that will cause them to spend more money.
Support for the Project
While there are those who are opposed, the plan also has supporters. There were people in attendance during the meeting that want to see the plan succeed and come to fruition. The Board of Supervisors for the town is in agreement that the Category 4 casino should be created in Shippensburg.
Supervisor Linda Asper said that she thinks the casino is a gamble that the community should take. The casino would be built inside a former Lowe’s department store property. The casino would house a sports bar along with just under 50 table games and 500 slot machines.
The township would receive just over $740,000 each year in gaming revenue taxes from the new property. This is a huge amount, actually over 50% of the current yearly budget which is set at $1.4 million.
Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment is able to create a Category 4 casino after obtaining a satellite license back in 2018. The state offered an auctioning process, and it took a bid of $8.1 million for Greenwood to obtain the license.
Operators who have earned a Category 4 license can open a smaller gaming venue, but it must be located away from major casinos. The properties can house up to 750 slot games and 30 table games. Several such casinos are in the works as efforts to bring satellite gaming to the state have been ongoing since 2017.