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Katiera Winfrey | 69 News

"What product does a casino produce?" Petersheim asked. "Nothing. It's just an exchange of money. Commercial gambling is predatory."

Ted Allan, who moved to the area four years ago, said that a mini-casino would destroy the neighborliness that made him want to live in a small town.

"If they build that thing, I'm afraid I'm going to have to move," Allan said.

"This change in our community does not represent who we are," Michele King said. "We are not urban, or even suburban, where most casinos are."

"This creates a great opportunity for local construction workers and contractors and business suppliers and so on to participate in a project like this," said Ryan Helms, business manager for IBEW Local Union 743. "If our guys don't go to work, they're obviously not making money and taking care of their families."

Those opposed

Officials of surrounding municipalities, while not directly opposing the project, expressed concerns. Gary Elston, a West Nantmeal Township, Chester County, supervisor, expressed concern that a traffic study did not properly evaluate the impact on the smaller roads surrounding the mini-casino – Routes 23, 401, 82 and Little Conestoga Road. Elston said he thought a traffic signal would have to be added at the intersection of Routes 23 and 401 and that Penn National Gaming should pick up the cost.

"We must stop the moral slide of our culture. Gambling takes most of its revenues from those least able to lose it," said Samuel E. Rohrer, the president of both the American Pastors Network and the Pennsylvania Pastors Network, and a former state representative for the area.


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