Carlisle weighing decision on mini-casino

Carlisle/West Shore

Is a Carlisle casino a good idea, or too much of a risk?

Parx Casino tried to get borough leaders and residents on board with the idea of a mini-casino Wednesday. The proposal got mixed reviews.

“This is not a place for a casino,” said Trisha Bellenoit, a Carlisle resident. “This is not a place where people need to come and gamble and bring any kind of addictions to the community.”

Traffic, crime and the possible loss of Carlisle’s charm were among the concerns brought up when Parx Casino representatives pitched a Category 4 casino to the borough council.

But there were also people in favor of the proposal, which planners say would create 250 permanent jobs. 

“It’s going to give the local social scene a boost with another entertainment venue that will create a spillover effect for other businesses in the area, like restaurants,” said Tony Ricci, Parx Casino’s CEO.

“Offer a new, extremely beneficial addition of revenue which means taxes could be reduced, if not reduced, stay the same,” said Kirk Wilson, who was the mayor of Carlisle for 26 years.

The borough opted out of a mini-casino but still can change its mind. Parx Casino says that if Carlisle opts back in, planners can then decide on and pursue a specific site. Mayor Tim Scott is in favor of the West End.

“Plenty of land out there, plenty of parking,” Scott said.

The mayor says he hopes the borough will decide whether to opt back in in the next couple of months. 

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