Casino Considered Near Gettysburg Battlefield

A battle is raging in Gettysburg, Pa., as business developers, tourists and local residents continue to disagree over a proposed casino near the famed battlefield.

The plan was first presented a year and a half ago, and there is still division over the idea of adding such a commercial attraction near the location of the Civil War battle, considered the bloodiest engagement ever fought on U.S. soil.

"The idea of putting a gambling emporium next to one of America's sacred sites is ludicrous," said Jim Lighthizer of the Civil War Preservation Trust.

If the state of Pennsylvania gives the go-ahead, the casino will be built less than two miles from the battlefield. Everyone in Gettysburg has a strong opinion about it.

One woman told ABC News a casino is "disrespectful."

But the head of the gaming company behind the project said the casino would not demean the thousands who died at Gettysburg.

"I thought the positive economic benefits warranted taking it on. But I certainly regret how divisive this issue has become to the community," said David Levan of Chance Enterprises.

'Have to Have Entertainment Value'

Much of the fight over the casino is about money. Some local business owners who favor the plan say this is a sleepy Pennsylvania town that needs help attracting tourists who don't care much about the Civil War.

"You have to have the entertainment value," said Bill Synnamon, a local businessman. "Gettysburg after 9 o'clock -- if you don't go have a beer, you're done. There's absolutely nothing in town for those people."

But we found many tourists, including a mother and son from Florida, who were appalled at the thought of gambling here.

"This is a historic place, and putting something there that would just trash the history and stuff it's just, it shouldn't belong here at all," said 16-year-old Teddy Manning.

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